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Cook Counties as requested by Governor Blagojevich and members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation. As your Congressman, I was a strong and vocal advocate for this designation as it will allow local families and small businesses to access federal money and resources for help in recovering from the recent severe storms throughout Illinois. This disaster declaration is an important step in moving forward from the damages caused by flooding and the storms. Below you will find additional information about the federal programs and resources now available. Please feel free to contact my office at (630) 893-9670 if we can be of assistance in your efforts to identify sources of federal aid. Very truly yours, Peter J. Roskam Member of Congress
Recovery Assistance Available for Local Families
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) is the primary agency charged with providing disaster assistance. • FEMA provides temporary housing, repair and replacement of homes for eligible storm affected families and individuals
For more information visit: www.fema.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Don’t wait; contact FEMA immediately to see if you qualify for grants or low interest loans to cover the cost of cleanup and repairs due to flood damage.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers foreclosure relief, loan guarantee assistance and makes insurance available for mortgages and home rehabilitation For more information visit: Visit www.hud.gov/info/disasterresources_dev.cfm
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers federally subsidized, low-interest loans for homeowners and renters to repair or replace homes, personal property or businesses. The small business disaster assistance program also offers counseling and services to help you get your business back on its feet. For more information call: 1-800-659-2955 or e-mail email@example.com.
Financial Services: Some banks permit early withdraws of time deposits without penalty. Contact your local financial institution to determine eligibility.
Legal Services: FEMA provides free legal assistance to disaster victims. More information: Call 877-396-6248 between 9AM and 5PM Central Time
Special Tax Considerations: You may be able to deduct a casualty loss on your federal income tax return. You should save all food, travel and lodging receipts to ensure your tax deduction. Visit http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=156138,00.html for more information.
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program provides unemployment benefits and reemployment services to individuals who have become unemployed because of major disasters
For more information visit: http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/disaster.asp
Helpful Recovery Hints
BASIC TIPS FOR HANDLING YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM • Contact your insurance company immediately and have your policy numbers available when you call. If your insurer does not call you back or send an adjuster to your property within three days call the Illinois Division of Insurance at 217-782-4515. • Keep track of all expenses associated with the loss and keep copies of all your paperwork. • Take photographs or video of the damage. • If your property is partially damaged, try to protect it against further losses by making temporary repairs. Don't have repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs. Keep all receipts. • If your home is unlivable ask your insurance company if you have coverage for additional living expenses. • If you have damaged appliances, furniture, and other contents for which you will be filing claims, don't throw damaged property away unless instructed to do so by your insurance adjustor. • Be sure to ask contractors for references and check them before you sign a contract for repairs, removal, or replacement. • Obtain more than one estimate and get everything in writing. • Notify creditors if bills have been lost or you are unable to pay. Also, notify the utility company if your home is unlivable so you are not paying unnecessary utility bills. OBTAINING FEDERAL ASSISTANCE THROUGH FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) • Register with FEMA. You can register by phone at 1-800-621-3362 or online at www.fema.gov. Please wait 24-48 hrs to check the status of your application and hang onto the FEMA application number that will be given to you. • Information needed to apply: Social Security number, current and pre-disaster address, a current phone number, insurance information, annual income, bank account information, and description of your losses. • Disaster assistance available through FEMA includes housing needs, other than housing needs, and additional services o Housing needs include; temporary housing, repair, and replacement. o Other than housing needs include; disaster related medical and dental costs, disaster related funeral and burial costs, clothing, household items, fuels for heat, clean up items, disaster damaged vehicle, and moving and storage expenses. o Additional services include; crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance, legal services, and special tax considerations • Disaster Recovery Centers are mobile FEMA offices. Some of the services they provide are guidance regarding disaster recovery, clarification of any written correspondence received, housing assistance and rental resource information, status of applications processed by FEMA, SBA program information.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the primary source of federal funds for long term recovery assistance for disaster victims. The SBA has low interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, and non farm businesses.
What FEMA cannot cover: • Utility bills. • Insurance deductibles. • Money for items that your insurance covers. This would be considered a duplication of benefits. FEMA can help with unmet needs not covered by your insurance company. • Mortgage or rent payments due to loss of job because of the disaster. If you lost work because of the disaster you may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Contact your local Employment Commission office U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DISASTER LOANS • The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the primary source of federal funds for long term recovery assistance for disaster victims. The SBA has low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, and non-farm businesses. • Types of disaster loans available: o Home Disaster Loans o Business Disaster Loans o Economic Injury Disaster Loans • Credit requirements include: o Credit History: Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA o Repayment: Applicants must show the ability to repay all loans o Collateral: Collateral is required for physical loans over $10,000 and Economic Injury Disaster Loans over $5,000 usually in the form of a first or second mortgage. • Interest Rates for Home Loans are 2.7% and 4% for Business Loans for up to 30 years. • Loan Amount Limits: o Home Loans: $200,000 for the repair and replacement of real estate and $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. o Business Loans: $1,500,000 for the repair and replacement of real estate, inventories, machinery, and equipment o Economic Injury Disaster Loans: $1,500,000 for alleviating economic injury caused by the disaster. Example, loss of revenue due to rebuilding of business or loss of revenue due to rebuilding of a community • Restrictions include: o Uninsured Losses: Only uninsured or otherwise uncompensated disaster losses are eligible. o Ineligible Property: Secondary homes, vacation homes, pleasure boats, and recreational vehicles are not eligible. o Noncompliance: Applicants who have not complied with the terms of previous SBA loans are not eligible. • Refinancing: SBA can refinance all or part of prior mortgages with the lower SBA interest rate. • Relocation: You may use your SBA loan to relocate • The disbursement process is similar to a construction loan and is made in installments as repairs are being completed. SBA can disburse the first $10,000 once the required
closing documents have been submitted. The borrower must keep receipts to document how the loan funds are spent. Typically, the first payment on the disaster loan is due five months after the date the loan was made.
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