BILLINGS - Homeowners affected by the massive flooding in June now have until Aug. 29 to apply for Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) or Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance.
So far, FEMA has distributed $2.5 million to Montanans in need.
Two months have now passed since June’s historic floods, and while much of the damage has been cleaned up, property owners are still dealing with big headaches.
"A lot of people that have been affected by the flooding, they want to talk to someone in person and get face-to-face help. And that's why we have these centers set up," said Tony Mayne, media relations specialist for FEMA's Region 8.
FEMA has received 832 registrations for flood assistance from homeowners so far in Montana and is spread out across Park, Yellowstone, Carbon, and Stillwater counties. Those 832 requests have amounted to $2.5 million in aid, but with the deadline looming, victims don't have much more time to get assistance.
Not all applicants are accepted, but Mayne says the reason generally comes down to something as simple as getting proof of ownership or a rental agreement.
"There's no specific dollar amount. If you were affected by the flooding, come see us, come talk to us. We’re not saying you need to have x amount of damage because we want to make sure everyone that needs the assistance has the opportunity to get the vital assistance they need to help recover from this flooding," added Mayne.
If you are rejected, an appeal can be made, and that can be done 60 days after the decision. The SBA is another organization set up to assist in a disaster situation.
"During a presidentially declared disaster, the US Small Business Administration provides low-interest rate loans for homeowners and renters as well as businesses of all sizes as well as most private nonprofits," said Louise Porter, public affairs officer with the SBA.
Using an SBA loan doesn’t disqualify an applicant from FEMA assistance, and SBA loans can be used to pay off credit card debt that may have been accrued during the disaster.
"Homeowners can be eligible for up to $200k in uncompensated damage, people with personal property up to $40k and businesses may be eligible for up to $1 million and that includes working capital, so economic injury," added Porter.
Both organizations want people to use the services as they look to rebound after the historic flooding.
"I just want everyone here in Montana to know that we’re happy to be here and assist with your recovery with this flooding. If you’ve been affected and you’re not one of the 832 that have registered with us. Please, please, please, come see us, come register with us if you need that assistance," said Mayne.