How to Appeal Your FEMA Determination Letter

Release Date:
October 24, 2022

The first step is for you to read your determination letter carefully to understand why FEMA decided the application was ineligible. If you need help understanding your letter, you can visit a Disaster Recovery Center or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. To find the nearest Disaster Recovery Center, visit

If you disagree with the determination, you have the right to appeal within 60 days of the date on the letter.

How do I write an appeal?

When filing an appeal be sure to include:

  • Your name
  • Your pre-disaster primary residence
  • Your current phone number and address
  • Your registration number (on every page)
  • FEMA disaster declaration number – DR-4663 (on every page)
  • Explanation of why you disagree with the decision
  • Include any requested information and supporting documentation such as estimates or receipts
  • Remember to sign and date the letter

What if I need help writing an appeal letter?

The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division can help you with writing your appeal letter or assist with many other free legal services. The hotline is available to connect survivors who cannot afford an attorney to free legal services in designated counties. Survivors can call 844-478-0099 Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. If after business hours, messages can be left and calls will be returned on the next business day.

The Disaster Legal Services (DLS) program works with state and local partners to provide free legal help for low-income disaster survivors. The service is a partnership between the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, FEMA, AppalReD Legal Aid, Kentucky Bar Association, Louisville Bar Association, American Red Cross, Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, Northern Kentucky Bar Association and Lawyers Mutual of Kentucky.

Where do I send the appeal letter?

You can submit your appeal the following ways:

  • Online at
  • By mailing your appeal letter and supporting documents to: Individuals & Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
  • By faxing your appeal letter and supporting documents to 800-827-8112
  • In person, by visiting an open Disaster Recovery Center

What are the most common reasons to be determined ineligible in Eastern Kentucky?

  • Missed inspection or no response to FEMA attempts to make contact: If FEMA cannot make contact with you, or you do not meet with the inspector for your scheduled appointment, FEMA may find you ineligible. You must return FEMA phone calls and requests for information in a timely manner. o If a determination letter states that FEMA was unable to reach you, please get in touch with FEMA as soon as possible. Visit a Disaster Recovery Center or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.
  • Home safe to occupy: FEMA has determined you are not eligible for Housing Assistance because the damage caused by the disaster did not make your home unsafe to live in. o If you disagree with FEMA’s determination, please collect verifiable estimates, contracts, receipts, cancelled checks, or other proof of expenses for home repair, personal property replacement, moving and storage costs, medical or dental treatment before filing an appeal.
  • Proof of occupancy: When FEMA is unable to verify occupancy of your primary residence, you may provide FEMA with documentation, such as utility bills, a bank or credit card statement, phone bill, pay stubs, a driver’s license, state-issued ID card or voter registration card showing the damaged dwelling’s address.


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