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FACE SHEET: Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter

Release date: 
February 22, 2019
Release Number: 
FS 002

Q: My FEMA determination letter says my application for disaster assistance is “ineligible” or “incomplete.” What can I do?
A: All disaster assistance applicants have the right to appeal, and sometimes a quick fix is all that is needed to change a “no” to a “yes.” Read your letter all the way through to clarify why your application was labeled “ineligible” or “incomplete.” Always be sure to follow up—do not just give up—with the determination letter.

Q: I want to appeal my determination letter. How can I do that?
A: All appeals must be in writing. When writing your appeal, explain why you think the decision about the amount or type of assistance you received is not correct. You, or someone who represents you or your household, must sign the letter. If the person writing the letter is not a member of your household, there must be a signed statement from you explaining that the person may act on behalf of you and your household. You must submit your appeal within 60 days of the date on your determination letter.

Q: What do I do with my written appeal and my other appeal documents?
A: Bring your determination letter, your written appeal and the supporting documents requested in your determination letter to any disaster recovery center. Disaster recovery center locations are available or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).

Q: I cannot make it to a disaster recovery center. Can I still appeal my determination letter?
A: Yes. You can 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 packet to 800-827-8112, Attention: Individuals and Households Program. When mailing or faxing your appeal packet, be sure to include your personal FEMA registration number and the disaster number, DR-4413-AK, on all your documents.

Q: Can I email my appeal packet to FEMA?
A: No. FEMA cannot process your appeal via email, but you can submit it on our website. If you would like to go through the appeal process electronically, you can open a disaster assistance center account at Once the account is created, you can update your current contact information, upload your appeal documents and review letters from FEMA. When you upload the required documents to your account, an appeal packet is automatically created which can then be submitted for review.

Last Updated: 
February 23, 2019 - 17:41