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How to Appeal a FEMA Decision

Release date: 
May 4, 2016
Release Number: 
NR 042

RIDGELAND, Miss. – Some survivors, who registered for federal disaster assistance after the March storms and flooding, may have received a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that says they are ineligible. However, the reason for the decision may be something that can be easily fixed, such as providing insurance documents or new contact information.

Applicants can appeal any FEMA decision.

The first step is to look at the specific reason the letter was sent. If it isn’t clear, or more information is needed, a specialist at the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711, video relay service) can help. TTY users can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Information is also available online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

Appeals must be made in writing and sent by mail or fax to FEMA within 60 days of receiving the letter.

Mail appeals to:

FEMA
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

Appeals and documents can be faxed to 800-827-8112.

Information on how and where to file an appeal is included with the letters and in the "Help After a Disaster" booklet, which can be downloaded at FEMA.gov/help-after-disaster.

Effective appeal letters should follow these procedures:

  • In the first paragraph, list the applicant's full legal name used on the aid application, along with Social Security number and the FEMA case number. Include a personal phone number as well as a back-up phone number where the applicant also can be reached, in addition to a correct mailing address.
  • Write an explanation of events that provides evidence to support the appeal. Summarize changes in circumstances or needs, additional damage to property discovered after the registration was filed or higher-than-anticipated costs for repairs.
  • Include photocopies of receipts for materials and labor as well as up to three written bids for repair work if those costs exceed the award amount. Submitting repair estimates, receipts, statements or invoices is recommended.
  • Keep a copy of the appeal letter and supporting documentation as a record.

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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.

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 (voice, 711 or video relay service). TTY users can call 800-462-7585.

 

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:03