The deadline for applying for federal disaster assistance now ends at the close of business on April 1st. State officials were able to get the March 1st deadline moved out Thursday.  Officials say even though the deadline looms they've only received a small percentage of applications.

U.S. Small Business Administration (S.B.A.) Spokeswoman Barbara Berry says out of 172,430 applications issued, they only received 26,137.

"We just wanted to remind people that if you did receive the S.B.A. application return that document because you may be eligible for FEMA grants."

Not to mention, not sending in the FEMA and S.B.A. loan paperwork could exclude you from gaining access to Federal dollars for Community Development Block Grants that are earmarked to help homeowners.

Berry says to date, they already awarded over $400-million dollars in low interest loans to home owners, renters, charities and businesses in Ocean and Monmouth counties.

"The request for a S.B.A loan is for uncompensated uninsured losses, which could include a vehicle, the physical property of your home, renters, homeowners and businesses of all sizes."

Berry says you can come in to any one of the federal disaster centers to fill out applications. You can also apply on line at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. You can apply for FEMA at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

In addition at the end of this week, FEMA will be pulling up stakes at several shore disaster recovery centers this week. Little Egg Harbor and Leonardo close tomorrow. Brick Township Friday, and Toms River and Union Beach Saturday. Most are converting to S.B.A Disaster Loan Centers.

Berry says even though these centers will be converting to S.B.A. Loan Centers, they'll be available to serve people.