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Sandy Update 3: Top Five Reasons You're Eligible to Apply for SBA Disaster Assistance

Sandy Update 3: Top Five Reasons You're Eligible to Apply for SBA Disaster Assistance

By James Rivera, SBA Official
Published: November 29, 2012 Updated: November 29, 2012

A month after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, homeowners, renters and businesses are dealing with the challenging task of rebuilding their homes, businesses and communities.

Hurricane Sandy

There’s a lot of information out there about different forms of federal assistance, and a lot of confusion about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s role in helping homeowners, renters and businesses recover. The SBA is committed to the long-term recovery of the people and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. 


Don’t let misinformation keep you from getting an SBA disaster loan! Here are the facts:

  1. You don’t have to be a business owner to apply for an SBA disaster loan.  SBA makes low-interest loans to homeowners of up to $200,000 to repair or replace the residence.  Renters and homeowners are also eligible to apply for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property – like furniture, cars, appliances – that isn’t fully covered by insurance.
  2. Most business disaster loans approved by SBA are made at the 4 percent interest rate.  There is no sliding or variable interest rate scale.  Businesses that have additional assets, cash flow and higher credit scores that enable them to qualify elsewhere for credit can still get an SBA loan, but at a higher interest rate of 6 percent.
  3. A notice about the Coastal Barrier Resources Act – which prohibits residents and businesses in Coastal Barrier areas from receiving federal disaster assistance – was included in disaster loan packets. If your property is on a coastal area, don’t assume you aren’t eligible to apply for an SBA disaster loan.   Once we get the application, we can make the decision to process the loan application.
  4. Even if you don’t have insurance, you can still apply for SBA disaster assistance.  And if you do have insurance, don’t wait to receive a settlement before you apply for an SBA disaster loan. We don’t want you to miss the application deadline.
  5. Your important documents – like property records, financial information – were probably lost in the storm.  No worries – the SBA has resources available to help you complete the disaster loan application anyway.

There are several ways to apply: 

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, register online at or use your mobile device at


Sandy Update 1: SBA Coordinating with Our Federal Partners
Sandy Update 2: SBA Standing Ready to Help Businesses, Homeowners and Renters Recover

About the Author:

James Rivera
James Rivera

SBA Official

James Rivera was named Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance in November 2009 after serving for several months as Acting Associate Administrator. In a typical year, his office approves about 20,000 loans totaling about $1 billion. This is the SBA’s sole direct lending program.