SALEM, Ore. -- Oregonians with property damaged by the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides of Dec. 1-17, who applied for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) may have received letters from FEMA stating their application has been denied.
The denial letters are based on information given at the time of application or inspection and may not be the final decision.
The main reasons why Oregonians may receive a denial letter are either the home sustained insufficient damage or the home had insurance.
Applicants may not be eligible for housing assistance simply because, at the time of inspection, more information was needed. Applicants need not be discouraged. The denial letter is not the final word. Also, more than one form of housing assistance may still be available.
In any case, if the applicant does not agree with the decision, they have the right to appeal within 60 days of the denial letter, explain in writing why they disagree with FEMA’s decision and provide any new or additional information and documents supporting their appeal.
"We are committed to providing you any help we can. If anyone has questions regarding your claim, please visit a Disaster Recovery Center or contact FEMA’s Helpline," said Federal Coordinating Officer Glen R. Sachtleben. "The Helpline is the same number you used to register: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). If you were denied assistance, because you were insured, consider calling FEMA after your insurance claim is settled."
"By law, FEMA cannot duplicate what insurance already covers, or pay deductibles. However, in some cases, they may be able to help, up to the extent of program limits. The only way to know is to register at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)," said Sachtleben.
Any Oregonians who receive a letter from FEMA stating that a claim for federal assistance has been deemed ineligible because of insurance should contact their insurance agent and request a settlement letter.
Questions regarding flood insurance policies are handled through the National Flood Insurance Program Helpline at 1-800-638-6620.
Regardless of the status of the denial letter for Housing Assistance, applicants may still be eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and other state and federal programs including disaster unemployment assistance, legal aid, crisis counseling, USDA food stamp assistance, USDA rural housing and veteran assistance.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with State and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.