ROCKFORD, Ill. -- Some Illinois residents who suffered losses in the severe storms and flooding from Aug. 20-31 may receive a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stating 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 Tony Russell. "It may mean that FEMA does not have all the information needed to make a decision regarding the applicant's disaster aid."
There are a number of reasons why applicants may receive denial letters and yet may be eligible for assistance, such as the need to:
- Provide information to prove occupancy or ownership of the damaged property.
- Provide proof of identity
- Provide documentation to prove disaster damage
- 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 insurance settlement information to FEMA? Individuals & Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055.
Individuals 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. 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 federal assistance is for applicants to complete all the necessary paperwork and keep information up-to-date," said State Coordinating Officer Andrew Velasquez III. "FEMA relies on that information to process each claim."
Applicants who wish to appeal a decision may do so in writing within 30 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.
Illinois residents who have already registered for disaster assistance and need to update their application information or have any questions about their disaster assistance may call the FEMA Helpline at ?1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or www.fema.gov; TTY: 800-462-7585, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
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.