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Applicants Have Right to Appeal Disaster Aid Decision

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Release date: 
May 23, 2008
Release Number: 

AUGUSTA, Maine - Applicants deemed ineligible for assistance are not out of options. FEMA and the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) remind flood victims that they should follow up on their cases if they disagree with a decision.

"It's important that even after you have registered with FEMA that you call with any updates to your case status, such as additional insurance information or changes in contact information," said Ginnie Ricker MEMA deputy director and state coordinating officer.

An applicant may receive a denial letter for various reasons, including adequate insurance coverage or minimal storm-related damage. By law, FEMA cannot provide financial assistance for losses covered by insurance or pay deductibles. A decision letter or settlement sheet from the insurance company should be submitted to FEMA so eligibility for additional federal assistance can be determined.

"Federal disaster assistance is designed to help with uninsured or under-insured losses caused by the disaster," said Phil Parr, federal coordinating officer.

Those who have been denied FEMA assistance may be eligible for other programs such as U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans which help homeowners, renters and businesses or additional help from volunteer agencies.

An applicant also has the right to appeal a denial in writing within 60 days from the date of the decision of the letter. Guidelines for appeals can be found in the Applicant's Handbook that each applicant receives. Applicants can also get guidance on this issue at any Disaster Recovery Center, online at or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY), 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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