BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Residents of Iroquois and Livingston Counties who registered for federal assistance should expect a letter in the mail informing them of the status of their application. If the letter describes the need for more information, the applicant should contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as soon as possible.
If this correspondence indicates the applicant is not eligible for assistance at this time, the letter will also state what information or documentation is still needed. An application missing even one piece of information can bring the disaster assistance process to a stop. There are some common instances when disaster assistance applications may need more data.
- The applicant may need to present proof of identity and occupancy or ownership of the damaged property.
- It may be necessary to provide documentation about the disaster damage or to add a missing signature to a document submitted by the applicant.
- The applicant may not have returned the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application. Many applicants do not realize that the disaster assistance process will automatically stop if this application is not returned. Even if an applicant does not think they are qualified, they need to return the completed loan application to be eligible for more federal aid.
- For applicants who indicated during registration that they have insurance, a settlement letter from their insurance company that details exactly what is covered under their claim may be required to avoid duplication of benefits.
Applicants should know they are able to request a review of any decision relating to their eligibility for disaster assistance, including a denial. If an applicant receives an award but believes the amount is too low, an appeal for a higher award can be submitted with documentation to support an increased cost. Those who wish to appeal a decision may do so in writing within 60 days from the date of the letter received.
For simple, clear information about the application process, refer to the FEMA booklet mailed to all assistance applicants called, “Help After a Disaster: Applicant's Guide to the Individuals and Households Program”. This publication also explains each of the application determination headings that may be listed in the decision letter.
For personalized assistance or more information, applicants can visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). These are temporary facilities and disaster officials urge residents to take advantage of the free services and information. The DRCs are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, until further notice.
DRC for Iroquois County
Regional Health Center
200 Laird Lane.
DRC for Livingston County
City Council Chambers
115 W. Howard Street
Residents who plan to stop by the DRC are urged to register for assistance before their visit. The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is May 6, 2008.
Affected residents can apply for disaster assistance by calling the toll-free FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585, daily between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (CST) until further notice. Individuals with access to the internet can register online at www.fema.gov.
Disaster applicants who cannot visit the DRC (or once these temporary centers are closed) can still get answers to questions through the FEMA Helpline. The Helpline is available to check the status of an application, update personal information and get answers to specific application questions.
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 terrorism...