Main Content

Notification of a debt

Why is FEMA sending letters to some disaster applicants saying that they owe the Federal government money?


After disasters during which disaster applicants receive federal assistance from the government, a small percentage of those disaster applicants may receive payments improperly, whether because of human error or other problems.

Federal laws, including the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010, require that federal agencies take actions to identify and recover any improper payments. This process is an important part of our obligation and commitment to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and to guarantee proper safeguards are in place to ensure that federal dollars are correctly spent.

If you received a Notice of Debt letter and would like to know what your options are, please refer to the Notice of Debt Options.

Question Categories

Was this answer helpful?

Didn't find what you were looking for? Search all of FEMA.gov or Ask a question

Last Updated: 
Tue, 06/25/2013 - 12:14