A Denial Letter from FEMA May Mean More Information is Needed

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Release date: 
July 18, 2008
Release Number: 
1770-027

LINCOLN, Neb. --- Officials from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would like applicants who receive a letter denying disaster assistance to be aware the letter may only be a request for more information.

"To avoid the chance of being sent a denial letter, applicants should not delay in updating their file if they know their application was incomplete when they registered," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, Willie Nunn. "They can call the Helpline, 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or go online at www.fema.gov/assistance and provide the missing information."

A need for more information is frequently the reason for a denial letter. Another reason may be that applicants have enough insurance to cover their disaster losses. If this is the case, by law FEMA cannot duplicate benefits. However, even if an insurance settlement will be made, applicants may find they are eligible for FEMA aid for items like transportation expenses or the loss of essential personal property.

Here are some of the reasons for a denial letter:

  • Insurance information is incomplete;
  • Receipts are needed to substantiate a loss;
  • Damage caused by the disaster does not affect your ability to continue living in your home:
  • Your losses are not eligible for a grant or loan (antiques, for example)

"A denial letter does not necessarily mean an applicant will receive no disaster assistance," said state Coordinating Officer Cindy Newsham. "The letter may simply be asking for a specific document to complete the application process."

If you receive a letter denying your request for aid and you have questions, call the FEMA Helpline or visit a state/FEMA disaster recovery center and speak to a recovery specialist. Specialists will be able to explain why you were denied. They can also tell you whether you are eligible for other types of state/FEMA disaster aid.

FEMA's toll free Helpline number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing- or speech-impaired.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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