Federal Help Available for Vehicles Damaged in Mississippi from Storms
By Donesha Aldridge, Web Content Manager/Producer - bio | email
JACKSON, Miss. - The following news release is from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency:
Anyone who had a car damaged or destroyed by the April 28 through May 3 storms in any of the 12 Mississippi counties designated for FEMA Individual Assistance may be eligible for federal help. The deadline to register for FEMA assistance is Monday, June 30, 2014.
Those who may be eligible include not just residents of the designated counties, but also those who were working or visiting those areas and had disaster-related damage to their vehicle during the tornadoes.
• The damaged vehicle must have complied with applicable state laws regarding title, vehicle registration and insurance requirements at the time of the damage.
• Only those who maintain at least liability insurance will be considered to receive federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their vehicle. Liability coverage is the minimum insurance requirement for Mississippi drivers. Liability insurance policies do not cover storm-related damage. Survivors who register must submit proof to FEMA that they maintain liability coverage to be considered for federal disaster assistance to repair or replace their car.
• Survivors who have a comprehensive policy should first file a claim with their insurance company. Comprehensive policies usually pay for storm-related damage to a car. However, federal disaster assistance may help fill in the gaps for those whose comprehensive insurance coverage does not pay for any or all storm-related damage costs.
• Survivors need to return a completed U.S. Small Business Administration disaster-loan application. After registering with FEMA, the SBA will contact many survivors concerning disaster loan applications. It’s important for survivors to submit their application. Homeowners and renters may be eligible to borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
• FEMA grants to repair or replace a vehicle must clear the SBA disaster loan process. A survivor may receive a grant from FEMA to repair or replace their car if insurance is insufficient and they were declined for an SBA home loan. Grants do not need to be repaid.
• Keep documents. Federal disaster assistance is reimbursed to survivors only if their car had damage during the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding April 28 to May 3. Survivors must submit an itemized document that shows damage to the car is storm-related and a receipt, estimate or verifiable bill of the repair or replacement costs.
FEMA officials advise anyone whose vehicle was damaged during the tornadoes to register for assistance. Survivors who sustained damage to their property, including vehicles, in the following Mississippi counties should register: Itawamba, Jones, Leake, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Montgomery, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, Wayne and Winston.
Register with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585, or register with a smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov.
For additional information about SBA low-interest disaster loans, contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visiting sba.gov/disaster.