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FACT SHEET: Read the FEMA Determination Letter or Email Carefully

Release date: 
November 5, 2018
Release Number: 
DR-4393-NC FS 052

Survivors who registered with FEMA following Hurricane Florence and received a letter or email explaining why they are not eligible for assistance should read it carefully.


Many times ineligibility is determined because FEMA does not have important information, such as an insurance settlement letter, proof of ownership, or proof that the damaged property was the primary residence at the time of the disaster. The applicants may just need to submit the extra documents for FEMA to process their application.


Applicants may submit missing documentation to FEMA in person at a disaster recovery center. To find center locations and current hours, download the FEMA mobile app in English, FEMA mobile app in Spanish, the ReadyNC app, or visit


If they have any questions they should call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY) anytime from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.


There are several reasons why applicants may be determined to be ineligible.


An infographic: Read FEMA’s Decision Letter Carefully can be found on FEMA’s website.


FEMA’s letter may refer to:

What applicants can do if they disagree:

Ownership not proven

Submit one of the following:

  • Title or deed
  • Tax assessment documentation
  • Mortgage payment letter
  • Other documents proving ownership of the home

No contact for an inspection

Call the disaster assistance helpline and provide their current phone number and the best time to reach them.

Failed identity verification

Submit documents to verify their name and Social Security #:

  • Current payroll check stub
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid U.S. passport
  • Medicare forms

Linked for duplicate

Submit documents proving they were not living with or assisted by another person who applied for assistance at their address.

Ineligible insured

To prove they are uninsured or underinsured for damage, submit one of the following:

  • Insurance settlement documents
  • A denial letter from their insurance agent/company
  • Any other supporting information

Ineligible for temporary rental assistance (applicants indicated to the inspector they were not willing to move while repairs were made)

Contact FEMA to:

  • Update their housing status.
  • Explain why they had (or will have) to relocate.


How to Appeal the FEMA Determination

All survivors have the right to appeal. By appealing, they are asking FEMA to review their case. Written appeals must be submitted within 60 days of receipt of the letter determining eligibility.


To ensure accuracy and help FEMA process their appeal, applicants will need to include the following information in their letter:

  • The date
  • Their full name
  • The address of their damaged property
  • Current contact information
  • Disaster number: DR-4393-NC
  • Last four digits of their Social Security number
  • Their nine-digit FEMA registration number on each page and on all documents
  • Notarization of their letter including a copy of a state issued identification card, or include the following statement, “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
  • Their signature


If someone other than the applicant or the co-applicant is writing the letter, the applicants must sign a statement affirming that the person may act on their behalf. They should keep a copy of the appeal for their records.


There are three ways to submit the appeal:

  • Mail the appeal letter to:
    • FEMA – Individuals & Households Program
      National Processing Service Center
      P.O. Box 10055
      Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
  • Or fax it to:
    • 800-827-8112
      Attention: FEMA – Individuals & Households Program
  • Or take the appeal letter to a disaster recovery center, where FEMA representatives can answer questions and fax the letter along with supporting documentation.

In-person American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are available by calling or texting 202-655-8824. Go online to watch a video on how to Request an American Sign Language interpreter.


For more information on North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence, visit and Follow us on Twitter: @NCEmergency and @FEMARegion4.



Last Updated: 
November 6, 2018 - 17:06