If you receive a letter stating that you are ineligible for assistance or that your application is incomplete, you can still complete the application or appeal the decision within 60 days of receiving a decision letter. The letter would either be mailed to you or placed into your Disaster Assistance Center account, if you have set up an account.
An appeal is a written request to FEMA to review your file again, and an opportunity to provide new or additional information not previously submitted that may affect the decision. You may appeal any decision by FEMA regarding your application for Individual Assistance, such as your initial eligibility decision, the amount or type of assistance provided to you, late applications, requests to return money, or a denial of Continued Temporary Housing Assistance.
If you have questions regarding the letter you received or how to file an appeal, you may contact a FEMA Helpline agent at 1-800-621-3362. You may also choose to request a copy of your file from FEMA to help you understand why you received the decision you want to appeal. You may also choose to request a copy of your file from FEMA to help you understand why you received the decision you want to appeal.
How to Appeal a Decision
Explain in writing why you think the decision about the amount or type of assistance you received is incorrect. You, or your co-applicant, must sign the letter.
If you choose to have a third party submit an appeal on your behalf, the appeal letter must be signed by the third party. In addition, include a statement signed by you, authorizing the third party to appeal a decision on your behalf, unless those documents are already on file.
To obtain a copy of your file, you must submit a written request that includes your full name, FEMA application number, disaster number, address of the damaged property and your current mailing address, your date of birth and your signature with one of the following:
- A notary stamp or seal, or
- A statement that says, “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
Include any supporting documents, such as contractor estimates or denial letters from insurance companies with your appeal request.
How to Submit Your Appeal
You can submit your appeal and supporting documentation online, in person, by mail or by fax.
Appeals can be managed online. Visit DisasterAssistance.gov to create an account and upload all supporting documents using the Correspondence "Upload Center."
You can take your appeal request to a Disaster Recovery Center.
Mail your appeal letter and supporting documents to:
FEMA - Individuals & Households Program National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
Fax your appeal letter and supporting documents to:
Attention: FEMA - Individuals & Households Program
To be considered, your appeal letter must be postmarked within 60 days of the date of the decision letter.
After Submitting Your Appeal
All appeals are reviewed. Decisions usually are made within 30 days of receiving the appeal, however, it may take up to 90 days for a decision.
Additional information may be requested from you if FEMA does not have enough information to make a decision.
You will be notified in writing of the response to your appeal, either by mail or via the DisasterAssistance.gov account you created when you applied with FEMA.
Individuals and Households Program Debt Collection (Recoupment) Appeal
If you received a Notice of Potential Debt letter, it is important to read the letter carefully. You may submit a written appeal, in which you may choose to request a hearing, within 60 days of receiving the letter. A hearing is an opportunity to present relevant evidence (e.g., testimony or additional documents) to support your claim.
Oral hearings are scheduled when FEMA determines that the question of the debt cannot be resolved solely by review of paper file. Visit the Individuals and Households Program Debt Collection (Recoupment) Appeal Hearings page to learn more the process