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Deadline nears for disaster assistance applications

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MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Minnesota residents and business owners who live in the seven counties designated in the April presidential disaster declaration have two weeks left to apply for federal disaster assistance.

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Tuesday, June 9, is the last day to apply with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Individual Assistance. The designated counties are Beltrami, Clay, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Traverse and Wilkin.

Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge residents affected by recent storms and flooding to apply as soon as possible.

Applicants can call the toll-free registration number at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585, between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. CDT seven days a week. Individuals also may apply any time at www.disasterassistance.gov.

The deadline is for new disaster applications only. Federal disaster specialists will continue to process cases after June 9 for residents who have already applied. Applicants who have questions about the disaster assistance programs or questions about the status of their previously filed applications should continue to use FEMA's toll-free Helpline at 800-621-3362.

Loan applications for homeowners, renters and businesses of any size also must be submitted by June 9 to the SBA. Loans could cover disaster-related losses including damage or loss of real and personal property. The deadline for loans to cover economic impacts to businesses is Jan. 11, 2010.

Individuals with SBA questions may call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, TTY 800-877-8339 or online at www.sba.gov.

As of close of business Friday, 1,213 Minnesota residents have applied for disaster assistance. More than $4.5 million in disaster funds have been approved for individuals affected by the disaster.

Applicants who receive a letter from SBA after applying for federal assistance with FEMA need to open it and complete the forms inside.

Returning the loan application is an essential part of the disaster recovery process, even for individuals who do not want a loan. Simply filling out and returning the SBA application may make other FEMA assistance available to some applicants.

Residents should register with FEMA even if they have insurance. FEMA does not duplicate insurance payments or pay deductibles. Applicants may be eligible, however, for assistance with serious, necessary expenses not covered by insurance.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

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