WACO, Texas -- Some Texans affected by severe storms and flooding during June 16-August 3 may receive a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) saying their application for disaster assistance has been denied.
"A denial letter does not necessarily mean that an applicant is not eligible for assistance," said Federal Coordinating Officer Kenneth Clark. "It may mean that FEMA does not have all the information needed to make a decision regarding the applicant's disaster aid."
Flood victims who receive denial letters may be eligible for assistance if the applicant still needs to:
- Return insurance information;
- Provide information to prove occupancy or ownership of the damaged property;
- Fill out all paperwork; or
- Complete and return the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application.
Applicants with insurance should contact their insurance company and ask for a settlement letter detailing exactly what is covered under their claim. They should mail the insurance settlement information to FEMA - Individuals & Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055.
Flood victims have up to 12 months from the date they registered with FEMA to submit insurance information for review. FEMA cannot provide money to individuals or households for losses covered by insurance.
FEMA reminds applicants to return the completed SBA loan application even if they choose to decline the loan. Filling out the loan application is a necessary step if applicants are to be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance.
"The key to being considered for assistance is for applicants to complete all the necessary paperwork and keep information up-to-date," said State Coordination Officer Joan Haun. "The State and FEMA rely on that information to process each claim."
Applicants who wish to appeal a decision may do so in writing within 60 days from the date of the decision or date of the denial letter. Guidelines for appeals can be found in the Applicant's Handbook sent to everyone who registers with FEMA.
Those who need to update their application information or have questions about disaster assistance are encouraged to call the FEMA help line at 800-621-FEMA (3362); TTY: 800-462-7585. Other information can be found at www.fema.gov. The deadline to register for assistance is October 29.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.