If you’ve applied for FEMA and have been denied, you may receive a phone call to advise you of ways to apply for the Small Business Administration (SBA). If referred to the SBA, a loan application must be completed and returned to be considered for a loan.

The SBA gives low-interest disaster loans. You don’t have to own a business.

  • If you are a renter or homeowner, you may borrow money to repair or replace items damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Homeowners may apply for money to repair or replace their homes. You may get a loan to make your home more disaster proof.

You usually have 60 days after the disaster to apply. The SBA may extend this date. You must apply by the deadline or you lose your chance to apply. The deadline to apply for Texas Severe Winter Storm (DR-4586-TX) is April 20, 2021.

  • The first step is to apply to FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or http://www.disasterassistance.gov.
    • Some FEMA benefits are only possible after you apply to the SBA.
    • If FEMA refers you to the SBA to apply for a loan, you must at least apply for the SBA loan. You should apply even if you have bad credit.
    • If FEMA refers you for an SBA loan and you do not apply for one, you may not get FEMA help later.
    • Apply for FEMA benefits. Then apply for SBA benefits if FEMA refers you so you can get all the help you need to recover.

You can apply for an SBA loan online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov. You can also apply by phone or by mail.

  • Do not miss the filing deadline by waiting for an insurance settlement.
  • SBA can give a loan for repairs while you wait for your insurance to pay.
  • Once your insurance pays, you must repay your SBA loan that covered the repair or replacement costs.

The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments, in many cases up to 30 years.

  • Apply to FEMA first.
  • Then apply to SBA.
  • Do it within 60 days or the extended deadline. If you do not, you will miss your chance for an SBA loan.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at http://www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: media@lonestarlegal.org