DENVER – It’s important to carefully read your determination letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). There may be an easy-to-resolve reason for being informed that you are ineligible for disaster assistance.
A common reason for initially being ineligible for housing assistance is that an applicant needs to provide FEMA with a copy of an insurance determination letter before a grant application can be processed.
Other reasons for a determination of ineligibility include:
- The applicant did not sign the required documents.
- The applicant did not prove occupancy or ownership.
- The damage is to a secondary home or a rental property, not a primary residence.
- Someone else in the household has also applied for and received help.
- A FEMA housing inspector cannot reach the applicant by phone.
- The applicant did not maintain the required flood insurance coverage for the damaged property.
Applicants who receive a determination of ineligibility letter can call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585 to find out how to appeal this decision, submit any required documents or make changes to contact information.
- For those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services, call 800-621-3362; the toll-free lines are open 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. (MDT) seven days a week.
An applicant has the right to appeal a determination of ineligibility letter in writing within 60 days from the date shown on the letter.
- Guidelines for appeals can be found in the “Help After a Disaster” handbook each applicant receives.
Applicants may also visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), where specialists from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help with appeals, answer questions, review applications and accept required documents.
- A list of open DRCs is available online at: fema.gov/drc
Those who may not be eligible for FEMA assistance may be eligible for other programs such as an SBA low-interest disaster loan or help from volunteer agencies.