With the recent approval of federal disaster assistance for Southern Illinois, I want to be sure that everyone knows how to apply for this assistance. On Saturday, June 11, at the Egyptian School in Tamms, I held a public meeting to provide information on disaster relief and recovery assistance available to individuals affected by recent flooding and storms in Southern Illinois. About 150 people were in attendance at this meeting, and representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) were on hand to outline what assistance programs are available and how to apply for aid.
There are a few different categories of assistance being made available:
Individual Assistance: On June 7, 14 Southern Illinois counties, including Alexander, Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph and Williamson in the 12th District, received approval for individual assistance. This makes grants and low-interest SBA loans available to eligible individuals and businesses. All individuals interested in applying for federal assistance must do so online at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by calling FEMA's toll-free number at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Small business owners seeking assistance may visit www.sba.gov, or call 1-800-659-2955 or TTY 1-800-877-8339.
Public Assistance: 21 counties, including Alexander, Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, Union and Williamson in the 12th District, have been approved for Public Assistance. This allows state and local governments to apply for reimbursement for 75 percent of their eligible expenses related to damage from storms and flooding that began in April.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance: On June 16, it was announced that Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) was approved for people who live or work in 14 Southern Illinois counties, including Alexander, Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph and Williamson counties in the 12th District. This will assist those who are unemployed due to the flooding, and individuals are eligible for up to 26 weeks of DUA benefits as long as their unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Those interested in applying may visit www.ides.illinois.gov, or call the toll-free number for the Illinois Department of Employment Security at 1-888-367-4382 or TTY 1-866-322-8357.
Additionally, FEMA and IEMA are opening four Disaster Recovery Centers -- in Cairo, Herrin, Junction and Metropolis -- to provide information concerning disaster assistance and help with completing the registration. For more information on these centers, including locations and hours of operation, please visit the Disaster Recovery Centers section of my website.
I strongly supported the disaster assistance requests made by Governor Quinn, and I personally urged the White House to expedite the approval process at the federal level.
Remember, you must register to be considered for assistance. Call the toll-free numbers listed above to register or to receive answers to your questions. More information is available on my website at costello.house.gov.
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