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How to Appeal a FEMA Disaster Assistance Decision

Release date: 
September 7, 2017
Release Number: 
DR-4331-WV NR 019

CHARLESTON, W. Va. — All applicants for FEMA recovery assistance have the right to appeal if they are dissatisfied with FEMA’s determination letter.

The first step is to read the FEMA determination letter carefully to understand why FEMA decided that your application was “ineligible.” If you think there has been a mistake or if you have any additional questions, you may file an appeal.

All appeals must be in writing. In your appeal, explain why you think FEMA’s decision is not correct. The appeal should include any documentation that FEMA requests or that supports your claim. If the person writing the appeal letter is not you or a member of your household, you must sign a statement which states that the writer is authorized to act for you and your household.

FEMA cannot process your appeal via email. But you can submit an appeal from your computer. To do so, open a Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) account at www.disasterassistance.gov. Once your account is open, you can update your current contact information, upload your appeal documents and review letters from FEMA. When you upload required documents to your DAC account, an appeal packet is automatically created, which can then be submitted for FEMA’s review.

You may also file your appeal at any disaster recovery center, including DRCs in another state. You can locate a disaster recovery center near you by visiting https://www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers, by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or by downloading the FEMA mobile app at https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

If you cannot make it to a disaster recovery center or do not have access to the internet, you can appeal your determination letter by mail. You will need to mail your written appeal and all supporting documents to:

 FEMA – Individuals and Households Program
 National Processing Service Center
 P.O. Box 10055
 Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

You can also fax your appeal documents to 800-827-8112, addressed to the attention of the Individuals and Households Program.

When mailing or faxing your appeal documents, be sure to include:
• The applicant’s full name
• The applicant’s registration number on every page
• The FEMA disaster declaration number – DR-4331-WV – on all pages, and
• The signature of the applicant and the date.

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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-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

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. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion3 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.

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 non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover 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. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59