There’s good news for 2016 flood victims who cannot receive federal rebuilding grants through the Louisiana Restore Program because they already received an SBA loan. Senator Bill Cassidy says legislation addressing the duplication of benefits issue has passed the Senate and is heading to the President Trump’s desk.

"You can't make people's lives as they were before the great flood, but we can help them recover as much as possible and this is part of that process," says Cassidy.

Cassidy says he’s heard from many 2016 flood victims who did what they were told to do, only to find out they were not eligible for the millions of dollars in federal recovery grants.

"Folks in Livingston Parish for example, who, again, did the right thing, and went through the SBA because they were told to do so, then found out they weren't eligible, and now are having financial difficulties because of the arrangements they made," says Cassidy.

Cassidy says he’s been working on this issue for two years and knew it would be difficult to get changed because of previous experience. He says they’ve had committee hearings and the Senator also brought up the problem with the SBA director.

"And I knew it was going to be a big issue, but it's taken two years to pull it off, but we worked it, worked it, worked it, worked it, and I'm pleased to say we've succeeded," says Cassidy.

The Louisiana Office of Community Development has said if SBA loans are removed from the duplication of benefits rule, then over six thousand Louisiana homeowners could be eligible for about $215-million in Restore grants.

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