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Federal Disaster Assistance Office Closes For Holiday

Fire victims have until Jan. 21 to apply for disaster assistance.

Sponsored By:

The Brittany Foundation

California
homeowners, renters and business owners who suffered damages in the November
wildfires have only one month left to apply for disaster assistance, said state
and federal officials.
An office set up to help victims of the Sayre Fire has closed for the holidays, but will reopen in January, giving those affected
by the fires time to get paperwork together if they haven’t already filed for
assistance.

 

The federal-state Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at 13109
Borden Avenue in Sylmar closed today and will re-open January 12 at the same
location as a Small Business Administration as a Disaster Loan Outreach Centers.
 Staff at that location will assist
applicants with SBA disaster loan filings and answer questions about SBA
coverage and loan conditions.

 

The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to cover
uncompensated losses for personal contents up to $40,000 for both homeowners
and renters and up to $200,000 for homeowners for physical damage to their
primary residence. The SBA also provides low-interest loans up to $2 million
for uncompensated physical losses suffered by businesses of any size and
private nonprofit organizations. Additionally, working capital loans are
available for economic injuries sustained by small businesses in declared
counties and adjoining counties.

 

The deadline to apply for an SBA property disaster loan is January 21, 2009, and the deadline to
apply for an SBA economic-injury disaster loan is August 18, 2009.

 

During this holiday hiatus, applicants recovering from the
November wildfire disaster can still apply for assistance and receive recovery
program information. So far, 1,427 Los Angeles county residents have registered with FEMA.

“Even if you have insurance and believe all your losses are
covered, we urge you to register if you’ve had wildfire damages. If you find
some losses weren’t covered, it will be too late to apply for federal-state
assistance after January 20, 2009,”
said Tom Maruyama, deputy state coordinating officer.

 

Applicants in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Santa
Barbara Counties can register for aid by calling the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) toll-free number 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) (TTY
1-800-462-7585) or online at www.fema.gov.  The registration deadline is January 20, 2009. If applicants want
recovery information, they can call the same toll-free 800-number and access
the FEMA Helpline.

 

When most applicants apply for federal-state disaster
recovery assistance, they are mailed an SBA Loan Application. This loan
application can be filled out and sent back to SBA; it does not require a visit
to the DLOC. Applicants also can get their SBA program questions answered by
calling 1-800-659-2955