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How to Apply for Assistance after Hurricane Irma

September 26, 2017

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has put a process in place for all victims of the most recent natural disaster in the U.S. - hurricane Irma. This article will present in detail what you should do to get the assistance you need and how to apply for it, either as an individual or business.

Ways to apply as an individual:

The easiest way to apply for assistance is online on www.disasterassistance.gov. There you will need to answer a series of questions to help the Agency's officers determine your eligibility and the type of help you need. If you don't have internet connection and you can't get WIFI, you can call the following phone numbers to start an application:

  •     (800)621-3362
  •     TTY (800)462-7585

The phone lines are open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm. As an individual, you can apply for assistance within 60 days of the date of declaration. If you have already applied online you can also keep track of the progress of your application and find out where you can find shelter, food, water, and medical resources. If you are eligible you will receive an Individual Assistance grant, which you don’t have to repay and it does not depend on your income.

Documents needed to apply as an individual:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged property
  • Current contact address
  • Current contact telephone number
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • Routing and account number for your checking or savings account
  • A description of your disaster-caused damage and losses

For reference, visit: https://www.fema.gov/apply-assistance

What help is available for businesses:

The process for assistance application to FEMA after hurricane Irma is similar for the business owner as to individuals. However, organizations will not get a grant, but a loan. These are called Small Business Bridge Loans and were announced by Rick Scott, as reported by the South Florida Business Journal.

The loans are interest-free and provided for a short time, essentially between the time when damages occurred and the time when the business can use its insurance to cover any costs. The maximum amount you can receive is $25,000 and the period for which the load is granted is between 90 and 180 days. Applications are open until October 31, 2017.

You are eligible for the assistance if you are a business owner of an organization with up to 100 employees, located in any of the 67 Florida counties and generally fall into the Small Business bracket. Your business must have been established before September 4, 201, and you need to provide a proof of hurricane-related financial and physical damages.

Visit the official website for the program http://www.floridadisasterloan.org/ to get more information or contact an office via phone, 850-898-3489 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org. Business disaster loans are also available.

Contact us at info@jarcpa.com or call us at 305-595-1783 to schedule a confidential consultation.

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