Denial of FEMA Assistance Offers Options for Appeal

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Release date: 
June 17, 2013
Release Number: 
4116-IL NR-056

AURORA, Ill. – A letter from FEMA denying federal disaster assistance may not be the final word. Applicants for disaster assistance should not be discouraged or disappointed if such a letter is received. Receipt of these letters does not necessarily mean “case closed.”

Many times the letter is received because more information is needed by FEMA.

Illinois survivors of the April 16 to May 5 severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding have the right to appeal FEMA’s decision about what assistance they can receive.

Survivors can appeal the amount or type of help provided, or any other decision about disaster assistance.

Before asking for an appeal, however, applicants are urged to review the “Help After a Disaster” applicant’s guide. The guide explains the different types of assistance that may be available and could answer questions about the appeal process. Each applicant receives a copy of the guide and it is available online at

When making an appeal, applicants should explain in writing why they disagree with a decision. Include any new or additional documentation that would support an appeal. Be as specific as possible in the letter and include materials such as itemized receipts and contractor estimates.

When sending an appeal, remember to include:

  • The federal declaration number, DR-4116-IL.
  • Your FEMA nine-digit identification number.
  • The applicant’s name, place and date of birth, and the address of the damaged dwelling.
  • Copies of documentation that support the appeal. All receipts, bills and estimates must include contact information for the service provider. Keep all originals for your records.
  • A copy of a state-issued identification card, such as a driver’s license.
  • The appeal must be signed by the applicant.

Survivors may send their appeal letter to FEMA by fax at (800) 827-8112, ATTN: FEMA, or by mail addressed to  National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055.

It is not necessary to visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to register with FEMA. Individuals can register online at or via web-enabled phone at Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. People who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS) can call 800-621-3362. For more information visit the Illinois Disaster website

Multilingual phone operators are available on the FEMA helpline. Choose Option 2 for Spanish and Option 3 for other languages.

The deadline to register for FEMA disaster assistance is Tuesday, July 9.

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.

Follow FEMA online at,, and  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated: 
June 18, 2013 - 10:44
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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