Officials say tornado victims not utilizing SBA loan option

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Several federal agencies are on the ground working to help tornado victims on the road to recovery, but that help does have limits.

The maximum FEMA grant is $30,200. Federal officials said many people are missing out on another opportunity. The Small Business Administration said they've put out more than 30,000 applications in Alabama for low-interest disaster loans, but only around 750 people have applied.

It is important to apply because if FEMA first rejects your claim, you're likely eligible for a loan, and if the SBA denies your loan, you may then be eligible for FEMA funds for unmet needs.

"Once you hear from the Small Business Administration, and it's determined that you cannot afford a loan from the SBA, then you go back to FEMA. And more than likely, you'll be eligible for more assistance," said FEMA spokesperson Don Bolger.

Storm victims can appeal if FEMA rejects a claim.  You'll have two weeks to notify FEMA of your intentions then 60 days after that to file the appeal.

For more information, go to the Small Business Association website, or apply in person at a disaster recovery center.

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