How to appeal a decision from FEMA

Local News

The logo of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seen at its headquarters August 27, 2011 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — FEMA says if you’ve received a letter of determination and do not agree with its findings, then you have a right to appeal.

FEMA said oftentimes an application or assistance is deemed ineligible due to a lack of supporting documents or information. They ask people to read the entire letter to understand what steps are needed next.

FEMA says individuals have 60 days from the date of the determination letter to appeal.

Appeal letters require evidence to support what you are claiming, according to FEMA. Additionally, the appeal needs to be in writing.

What FEMA says you should include with your letter:

  • A copy of the FEMA letter saying you’re ineligible for assistance, or that the agency didn’t reach a decision, or the amount awarded that you feel is insufficient.
  • Correspondence from your insurance company that shows you received just a fraction of what you need for repairs, not enough to help you temporarily move into another place, or not enough to replace certain belongings. Keep in mind that FEMA cannot give you an award for something your insurance company has already paid.
  • A copy of a utility bill, driver’s license, lease or rental agreement, bank statement, local school document, motor-vehicle registration, or employer’s letter. All can be used to prove the damaged home or rental was your primary residence, meaning you lived there during a major part of the year.
  • A proof of homeownership, like mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts, deed, receipts for major repairs within the last few years, or a court document. If your papers were lost or destroyed, click on www.usa.gov/replace-vital-documents for information on how to replace them.

Appeal letters must include your nine-digit FEMA application number and disaster number before mailing it to the following address:

  • FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055 
  • Or fax it to 800-827-8112, Attention: FEMA

FEMA said documents can be uploaded online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

After following these steps, FEMA said you may receive a call or letter asking for more information or another inspection will be scheduled.

Decision letters can arrive within 90 days of FEMA receiving your appeal.

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