(WSIL) – Illinois’ appeal for federal help for residents affected by flooding has been denied.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Illinois’ appeal for individual assistance for residents and businesses in 22 counties along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, including Alexander, Jackson and Union counties.

In light of the denial, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is seeking a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. If approved, residents and business owners would be able to apply for grants as well as low-interest, long-term loans.

“While we are extremely disappointed that Illinois did not qualify for Individual Assistance funding, we will not give up fighting to provide resources to the citizens of Illinois,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Acting IEMA Director.  “We are committed to working with our federal delegation to encourage FEMA to change the eligibility requirements of the Individual Assistance program that hurts states like Illinois, and in the meantime, we will work with our state and federal partners to identify any other available resources.”

The federal government has approved public assistance funding for Illinois counties affected by flooding. The program provides grants to assist state and local governments, nonprofits and houses of worship with response and recovery costs. Under the guidelines, local jurisdictions can be reimbursed for up to 75 percent of eligible costs.