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Sandy Victims Urged To Apply For Disaster Assistance [AUDIO]

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) staffers continue to urge folks who suffered superstorm damage to send their federal disaster applications in before the April 1st deadline.

FEMA following Sandy
Tim Larsen, Governor’s Office

The agency says they’ve only received a fraction of the 174,000 applications they issued in New Jersey.

SBA Spokeswoman, Dr. Barbara Berry, expects April 1st to be the final extension given to apply for either FEMA Disaster Assistance or an SBA Loan. She says even if you don’t want a low-interest loan, applying only gives you more options later.

“We’re just trying to get the word out, if anyone has had damage, don’t self evaluate and say ‘Oh, I would never be approved.’ We’re encouraging people … Apply.”

Berry says getting in disaster applications is also a required step in determining eligibility for federal grants.

“If you don’t submit your application, your assistance is stopped, it’s dead, it stops the federal process. If you submit we decline, or if you’re approved, you can decline taking the loan or you can take a portion of the loan.”

She says those approved for loans get up to two months to sign for it and up to six months to draw from it.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers remain open through out the state. She says staffers are on-hand to assist with filling out applications and filing them online. To find a center near you call the SBA Customer Service Line at 800-659-2955.

She says you can also apply for an SBA Loan online.

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