Don’t Agree with Your FEMA Decision? Filing an Appeal May Unlock Further Disaster Assistance

Hartford, Conn.– If you applied with FEMA for damage and losses caused by remnants of Hurricane Ida, you will receive a letter in the mail explaining your application current status or eligibility for disaster assistance. Read this letter carefully and follow up with any requests for additional information or provide the documentation requested.

If you received a determination letter, and do not agree with the amount of assistance offered or determination provided, filing an appeal may be the key to unlocking additional disaster assistance. You must file an appeal within 60 days of the date on your FEMA eligibility letter.

In Connecticut, FEMA staff are working with homeowners and renters to resolve issues and help applicants work through the appeals process for additional eligible funding. To date, FEMA has completed 1,980 case reviews. These reviews have resulted in an additional $1.1 million disbursed in disaster assistance to impacted survivors.  

To date FEMA has approved more than $7 million dollars in grants to Connecticut survivors impacted by Hurricane Ida.

Step One: Read Your Determination Letter

It is important that you read your determination letter carefully. This letter contains information to help you understand why FEMA decided the application was “ineligible.” Many times, it could be something as simple as providing missing documents or information.

If you need help understanding your determination letter call the Disaster Assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Multilingual operators are available.

Step Two: Gather Documents to Prove Your Eligibility

Often, applicants need only to submit extra documents for FEMA to process their application. FEMA may find an applicant ineligible if the following documents are missing:

  • Insurance documents: Provide documents from your insurance company that show your policy coverage and/or settlement is not enough to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay, or replace certain contents. FEMA cannot duplicate homeowner or renter insurance benefits.
  • Proof of occupancy: Provide documents that prove the damaged home or rental was your primary residence by supplying a copy of utility bills, driver’s license or lease.
  • Proof of ownership: Provide mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you don’t have a deed handy, contact your local or county officials about obtaining a copy.
  • Lost documents: Visit the following website for information on replacing lost documents: https://www.usa.gov/replace-vital-documents

All appeals must be in writing. The appeal letter should explain why you believe FEMA’s decision is not correct. When filing an appeal, the submission should also include the following information: applicant’s full name, applicant’s FEMA Application Number and Disaster Number, address of the applicant’s pre-disaster primary residence, and the applicant’s current phone number and address.  It is important to include any documentation FEMA requests and/or that supports the appeal claim. Also, if the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the household, you must submit a signed statement that the writer is authorized to act on your behalf.

Step Three: Submit Your Appeal

IMPORTANT: When submitting an appeal, be sure to include the cover letter you received from FEMA.

  • Mail documents and your appeal letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to:
    FEMA National Processing Service Center,
    P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055 
  • Fax them to 800-827-8112.
  • To set up a FEMA online account or to upload documents online, visit disasterassistance.gov and click on “Check Your Application and Log In” and follow the directions.

You will receive a decision letter within 90 days of FEMA’s receipt of your appeal.

The deadline for applying for federal assistance is January 28, 2022.

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