When the President declares a major disaster, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) makes its low-interest loan programs available to qualifying businesses and private non-profit organizations that have suffered damages. Businesses of any size may request an application for a low-interest loan by telephone immediately after the declaration. SBA loan officers will be available at all Disaster Field Offices and Disaster Recovery Centers to provide one-on-one assistance.
Special tax law provisions may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the president declares their location to be a major disaster area. Depending on the circumstances, the IRS may grant additional time to file returns and pay taxes. Both individuals and businesses in a presidentially declared disaster area can get a faster refund by claiming losses related to the disaster on the tax return for the previous year, usually by filing an amended return.
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency emergency loans may be available to farmers who were operating a farm at the time of a disaster. Loans are limited to the amount necessary to compensate for actual losses to essential property or to production capacity.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Farm or ranch owners and self-employed persons may qualify for disaster unemployment if they are out of work because of the disaster and are not covered by regular unemployment insurance. This program is administered by the State Department of Employment Security, through the U.S. Department of Labor. More than $2 million in Disaster Unemployment Assistance has been disbursed to Washington State residents since the Nov. 1995 floods.
The National Flood Insurance Program offers insurance for flooding. Flood insurance is required for businesses and homes in a designated special flood hazard area. For more information, see the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program.