FEMA Denial Letter May Not Be the Last Word

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Release date: 
October 6, 2011
Release Number: 

CONCORD, N.H. – Some New Hampshire residents may receive a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) saying their disaster assistance application has been denied.

“Sometimes it only means that your application is incomplete,” said Albie Lewis, federal coordinating officer. “You definitely should call our helpline, 1-800-621-3362, for clarification.”

Common reasons why applicants for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program receive denial letters and yet may be eligible for assistance are:

  • Failure to provide complete insurance information;
  • Failure to provide proof of occupancy or ownership of the damaged property;
  • Failure to submit a completed U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application.   

Applicants have up to 12 months from the date they registered with FEMA to submit insurance information for review. FEMA cannot provide money to individuals or households for losses already covered by insurance, but uninsured losses may qualify for a grant.

The SBA loan application is important even for those who don’t want a loan. Information in the application can be considered in determining eligibility for other forms of disaster assistance.

“Don’t disqualify yourself from receiving assistance that may be available,” said Mike Poirier, state coordinating officer. “Take the time to fill out and submit the SBA application.”

Applicants who wish to appeal a decision may do so in writing within 60 days from the date of the decision or date of the denial letter. Guidelines for appeals can be found in the Applicant’s Handbook sent to everyone who registers with FEMA. 

The registration and helpline, 1-800-621-3362, also works for those who use use 711-Relay or Video Relay Service (VRS). For TTY use, call 1-800-462-7585.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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