WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the severe storms and flooding of June 1 through Aug. 31, 2010, who receive a letter telling them they are ineligible for disaster assistance may 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 Michael R. Scott, 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 Pat Hall, State Coordinating Officer with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division. "We encourage survivors 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 visit a Disaster Recovery Center to obtain appeal information.
Appeal letters should include the applicant's 9-digit FEMA disaster identification registration number and the federal disaster declaration number, which should be included in the ineligibility letter. 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 mail it to the following address:
FEMA - Individuals & Households Program
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 - Individuals & Households Program.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders 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.