SOMERSET, N.J. -- New Jersey homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the severe storms and flooding of mid-March who receive a letter telling them they are ineligible for disaster assistance can follow a process to appeal that decision, state and federal officials said today. Applicants have 60 days from the date of their determination letter to appeal the FEMA decision. All appeals must be in writing.
"The recovery process doesn't necessarily end with an ineligibility letter," said William L. Vogel, Federal Coordinating Officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Sometimes ineligibility may mean that more information is needed before the analysis can be completed or an applicant’s status can be changed."
"Appealing a FEMA decision can ensure that flood survivors in the federally declared counties will receive every penny for which they are legally eligible," said State Lt. Bill McDonnell, State Coordinating Officer with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. "It makes sense to take an active role in the assistance registration process."
When appealing, applicants should explain in writing why they think the decision about the amount or type of assistance they received is not correct. They should refer to their "Help Disaster Assistance" guide, and then call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech-and hearing-impaired. Applicants may also visits a Disaster Recovery Center to obtain appeal information.
Appeal letters should include the applicant's FEMA disaster identification registration number and the federal disaster declaration number. It is important to have appeal letters postmarked within 60 days of the date on the decision letter.
It also is important to date the appeal letter and mailed it to the following address:
FEMA - Appeals Officer
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
Fax letters to 1-800-827-8112 with a cover sheet addressed as follows:
Attention: FEMA - Appeals Officer.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.