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Be Sure to Read Any Correspondence from FEMA Carefully

Release date: 
January 28, 2016
Release Number: 
DR-4248-MS NR 022

OXFORD, Miss. – If you applied for disaster assistance after the severe storms which affected Mississippi in December, you may have received a letter or other correspondence from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The most common reason applicants are considered ineligible is the lack of an insurance document. An applicant may only need to provide FEMA with a copy of an insurance determination letter to complete the application and continue the assistance process. 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.

Disaster survivors who receive a determination of ineligibility can call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585 for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired to find out how to appeal this decision, submit any required documents or make changes to contact information.

Applicants may also visit a disaster recovery center where specialists from FEMA can help with appeals, answer questions, review applications and accept required documents. To find a list of open disaster recovery centers in your area, visit: or call the FEMA helpline.

Furthermore, survivors have the right to appeal a determination of ineligibility in writing within 60 days from the date shown on the letter. An explanation of the appeals process is available to all applicants and can be found online at

Those who may not be eligible for FEMA assistance may be eligible for other programs such as an SBA low-interest disaster loan. Help may also be available from volunteer agencies.

FEMA and its state and federal partners are committed to helping Mississippi recover from December’s severe storms. Don’t let a simple paperwork issue prevent you from receiving assistance for which you may be eligible.

For the latest information on Mississippi disaster recovery operations, visit and


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.

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:04