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Hurricane Irma Frequently Asked FEMA/SBA Questions
DCR Client at Big Pine Key.JPG
How do I apply for FEMA individual assistance?

The quickest way to apply for federal assistance is online at
www.disasterassistance.gov.

Survivors may also apply by phone at 800-621-3362 (Voice, 711 or VS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). Due to high demand, lines may be busy. Please be patient,
and try calling in the morning or evening when call volume may be lower.

Can I apply in-person for FEMA individual assistance?

Yes, there are four Disaster Recovery Centers in Monroe County that can help survivors register for assistance, update their application and check on the status of their application. The hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

1. Big Pine Key: Big Pine Community Park, 31009 Atlantis Drive
2. Islamorada:  Fire Station #20, 2nd Floor EOC, 81850 Overseas Hwy
3. Key West: 3126 Flagler Street
4. Marathon: 6805 Overseas Highway


Should I register for FEMA assistance even though I have insurance?

You should apply for assistance even if you have insurance because you may
discover that you still have unmet needs after you receive your settlement.

I
f you have not contacted your insurance agent to file a claim, do so right away.
Insurance is your main source for money to put your life, home and business back
in order after a disaster.

Insurance may not cover all post-disaster expenses, so disaster programs may be
able to help.

Why should I apply for a loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) if I don't own a business?

Next to insurance, the U.S. Small Business Administration is the survivor’s

primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private

property.


It is important to complete and submit a low-interest disaster loan application as

soon as possible, if you receive one. This will ensure that the federal disaster

recovery process continues and options are kept open. Even if you do not believe

you need a loan, you should complete and submit the application.

If SBA determines you are eligible for a loan, you are under no obligation to

accept it. Homeowners and renters who submit an SBA application and are not

approved for a loan may be referred to FEMA and considered for other FEMA

grants and programs that could include assistance for disaster-related car repairs,

household items and other expenses.

How do I apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan?

Visit a FEMA disaster recoverycenter and meet with an SBA representative in person. SBA has staff at all recovery centers to help with applications. You can also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at www.disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.


Filing deadline to return physical property damage applications is Nov. 9, 2017.

The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.

Additional information on the disaster loan program may be obtained by calling

SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339), email

, or visit www.sba.gov/disaster

Do I have any recourse if I receive a FEMA Letter that says I am Ineligible for Disaster Assistance?

The answer is yes. Applicants for FEMA disaster assistance should not consider the initial determination letter from the agency ruling them ineligible for disaster assistance as the final word. FEMA offers these tips to keep in mind if you receive such a letter:

Applicants must read their letters carefully. The letter may explain any problems that could be corrected. You may need to provide additional information or documents. If a mistake has been made, you should let FEMA know right away by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) or visiting a Disaster Recovery Center.

Everyone has the right to appeal any FEMA decision.

Appeals may relate to eligibility, the amount or type of help provided, a late application, a request to return money, or continuing help. If you were determined ineligible due to insurance coverage—but had under insured or uninsured losses—you can appeal the decision by submitting your insurance settlement paperwork. The appeal must be sent and postmarked within 60 days after you receive the letter.

In your appeal letter, explain why you think the decision about the amount or type of assistance is not correct. You will need to include your full name, the nine digit FEMA registration number and the four digit disaster number.

Be sure to sign the letter and include a copy of a state-issued identification card, such as a driver’s license. If you cannot do that, write: “I hereby declare under the penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

Date the appeal letter and include the FEMA application number and the disaster number (DR-4337) and mail or fax it to:
FEMA National Processing Service Center
P. O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
FAX: 800-827-8112; Attention: FEMA
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Monroe County
1100 Simonton Street
Key West FL, 33040