Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus wants to make sure Dutchess County residents are taking the necessary steps toward getting their flood disaster assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided updates on two programs available to Dutchess County residents:
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans - application deadline June 25, 2007
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) – application deadline June 5, 2007
“Dutchess County residents need to make sure they are taking advantage of all of the assistance available to them through the federal and state programs. More than 430 residents have already filed for assistance, but it is very important all paperwork is completed and returned before the impending deadlines,” said County Executive Steinhaus.
Small Business Administration Loans
Homeowners and renters in Dutchess County who had damage from the April nor’easter are automatically considered for the initial grants from FEMA to pay for repairs to their homes and renting alternative housing. Those who need more than a few thousand dollars to make their homes livable may be asked to look at low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Once the loan forms are completed and returned, they can be considered for a second round of grants from FEMA and the State of New York. The additional grants may cover expenses such as renting equipment to repair damage, or replacing damaged household items, a car, or tools. No one is required to take the loan. However, unless they complete and return the application, they will not be considered for some grants. The SBA reports 95 percent of the SBA loan packages sent out have not been returned.
In a federally declared disaster, the low-interest SBA loans are the primary means of financial aid in a federally declared disaster. There are no closing costs or other fees and the SBA team tries to be very flexible in trying to make the loans work for those who need them.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Individuals can borrow an additional 20 percent for mitigation. Businesses of any size and private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $1.5 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
The filing deadline for SBA applications for property damage is June 25, 2007.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
County Executive Steinhaus would also like to remind Dutchess County residents the deadline to register for a state/federal program that provides assistance to individuals who are unemployed or lost income because of the April nor'easter is rapidly approaching.
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program offers benefits to eligible residents of Dutchess County who lost their jobs or income as a result of the storm. The program is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and administered by the State of New York.
DUA provides benefits to individuals who are not typically covered by unemployment compensation programs, such as those who are self-employed, farmers, migrant and seasonal workers.
The April 14 - 18 nor'easter was declared a federal disaster on April 24, and unemployment benefits are offered for up to 26 weeks after that date.
Individuals must first apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) by calling the NYS Department of Labor on a Monday or Tuesday at 1-888-209-8124, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and follow the instructions for filing a new claim. After completing the telephone application, residents should inform the representative they are filing due to the April storms. Those individuals who are eligible for UI must serve an unpaid waiting week before any payments can be issued. Residents who are not eligible for regular UI benefits will be mailed a DUA application. Further information on DUA can be obtained by calling 1-866-642-7227.
The deadline for DUA applications for Dutchess County residents is June 5, 2007.
For more information about how to file for assistance, visit http://www.dutchessny.gov/.