FAQ: What does FEMA do; What does the SBA do

Editor’s note: The Federal Emergency Management Agency provided these Frequently Asked Questions.

What is the difference between FEMA and SBA?

FEMA offers grants to eligible homeowners and renters while SBA offers low interest disaster loans to businesses, homeowners and renters.

Who can register with FEMA?

Vermont homeowners or renters in Windham, Windsor, Chittenden, Caledonia, Orange, Orleans, Lamoille, Rutland and Washington counties who have suffered losses or damages to their primary home due to flooding, severe storms, landslides or mudslides that began on July 7 may be eligible for FEMA assistance.

Do FEMA grants need to be repaid?

FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable.

Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to register for FEMA?

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or a qualified resident to be eligible. However, families with diverse immigration status only need one family member (for instance, minor child) who is a citizen and has a Social Security number to apply. A minor child must live with the parent/guardian applying on his or her behalf and be under the age 18 as of Oct. 5. No citizenship information is collected by FEMA. (For more information, click here.)

Does a survivor have to apply to a separate application for SBA?

Survivors who apply to FEMA may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration to apply for long-term,
low-interest loans. The SBA application is a separate application.

Why do survivors get referred to SBA?

To meet the needs of disaster survivors, FEMA partners with other agencies such as SBA. While most people think of the SBA as only helping small businesses, low interest disaster loans can help businesses, homeowners and renters affected by  disaster. In some cases, FEMA  may refer a survivor to the SBA. If so, applicants are encouraged to complete the SBA
application as it may open the door to additional FEMA assistance. There is no obligation to
accept a disaster loan if approved. (For more information, click here.)

What other community partners and agencies are FEMA working with at this
disaster to help with recovery?

FEMA works with a number of federal, state, local, and non-profit partners throughout the recovery process. Many of these partners are present at Disaster Recovery Centers, state run Multi-Agency Resource Centers, or are active in the communities conducting a range of recovery activities.

Does FEMA have income limits?

FEMA does not consider income when determining eligibility for Individual Assistance programs.

Will FEMA’s money run out? Who funds FEMA’s grants?

FEMA’s response and recovery activities are funded by the Disaster Recovery Fund, which is appropriated by Congress. It is the responsibility of Congress to ensure sufficient funds are available.

How do I submit an appeal?

Appeals must be in writing in a signed and dated letter, explain the reason(s) for the appeal. It should also include:

  • Applicant’s full name
  • Disaster number (DR-4720 -VT)
  • Address of the pre-disaster primary residence
  • Applicant’s current phone number and address
  • Your nine-digit FEMA application number on all documents
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Filed Under: Flood News UpdatesFloods of 7-10-23How to Get HelpLatest News

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