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Posted on: July 24, 2020

U.S. SBA Disaster Loan Eligibility Information

July 23, 2020 - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers homeowners, renters, businesses, and non-profit organizations impacted by the May 2020 severe storms and flooding event the opportunity to apply for low-interest disaster loans to assist in the recovery process.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.25 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/.

For SBA disaster loan eligibility purposes, an applicant can have only one primary residence. For either a homeowner or a renter, a damaged residence is eligible only if it is the applicant’s primary residence. A secondary residence (including contents located therein) is not eligible. The primary residence determination is based upon the residence of the applicant. Eligibility may be established so long as the property is the primary residence of at least one of the applicants

Damages to land and soil are eligible. However, erosion or similar damage is not eligible because it occurs over time and is not the direct result of any single declared disaster event. Eligibility for BA disaster loans is limited to the cost of restoring the land to its pre-disaster condition. Applicants must consider the potential for recurring or continuing damage to the land and soil when applying.

Damage to land improvements is eligible unless specifically excluded or subject to the landscaping limitations defined below. Some examples of eligible land improvements are paving, walkways, driveways, fences, retaining walls, seawalls, septic systems, drainage systems, culverts, and various protective devices.

Landscaping and recreational improvements/facilities is eligible, but is limited to the lesser of the verified loss to landscaping or $5,000. The limit does not apply to docks and other related facilities when water transportation to and from the primary residence is necessary.

The following are not included in the landscaping limits:

1. Detached buildings such as garages, storage sheds, guest houses, etc., which are not predominantly used for recreational purposes.

2. Fill for disaster washouts that must be replaced and is part of the damage to land.

3. The cost of clearing downed trees, shrubs, hedges, and other brush if not performed by the community, Army Corps of Engineers, or another agency as part of the total disaster clean-up.

4. Minimal ground cover if it is the most practical and feasible method for necessary ground stabilization.

Midland County residents with specific questions about their disaster loan applications and eligibility may contact the SBA customer service representatives dedicated to this disaster via the following methods:

  • Phone: (571) 422-8013, (571) 422-6016 or (571) 422-0331 available from
  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Email: FOCE-Help@sba.gov

Survivors or officials with broad program questions call 404-895-7345.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362. 

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