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FEMA Determination Letter Is Often Not the Last Word on Eligibility

Release date: 
November 26, 2012
Release Number: 

WINDSOR, Conn. – FEMA is urging disaster survivors not to miss out on federal assistance they may be entitled to simply because of a missing document or signature.

Residents affected by Hurricane Sandy who have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance are now receiving letters explaining the status of their applications. In some cases, applicants are being informed that they are not eligible for aid, but often, that is not the last word on the matter.

FEMA’s determination letters tell applicants how to appeal the eligibility decision and what additional information is needed for FEMA to review the application again.

FEMA is committed to making sure every Connecticut resident affected by the disaster receives the maximum assistance to which they are entitled. And by law, FEMA cannot provide aid unless it has all the required documents needed to determine eligibility. The agency also cannot duplicate benefits from another source, such as an insurance settlement.

All applicants are urged to read the determination letter carefully – and to ask for help if there are questions. FEMA may only need some additional information.

For example, FEMA may not have received information about an applicant’s insurance settlement. FEMA’s initial determination of ineligibility may change if private insurance or other government assistance is not sufficient to cover all eligible damage.

An application for aid might be turned down if:

  • An insurance settlement has not yet been received;
  • An applicant has not provided proof of ownership or residence;
  • Proof the damaged property was the applicant’s primary residence is missing;
  • Essential documents are unsigned.

Applicants can call FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-3362 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center to get their questions answered. If using TTY, call 800-462-7585

FEMA is in Connecticut to serve every disaster survivor in need. It is every applicant’s right to ask the agency to reconsider its decisions. For appeal information, go to the video link below:

You Can Appeal:

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

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.

Last Updated: 
November 26, 2012 - 09:57
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