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Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter or Email

Release date: 
March 13, 2019
Release Number: 
DR-4419-AL NR 005

CLANTON, Ala. – After registering for disaster assistance, you may receive a determination letter by mail or email from FEMA. Read your determination letter carefully to understand your eligibility for federal assistance.

There are many reasons for an initial ineligibility determination. The most common reason is the need to provide FEMA with a copy of a letter verifying your insurance coverage before FEMA can process your grant application.

Other reasons for ineligibility may include:
• You did not sign the required documents.
• You did not prove occupancy or ownership.
• Your identity may not have been verified.
• The damage is not to your primary residence, but to a secondary home or a rental property.
• Another member of your household may have applied and received assistance.
• Your disaster-related losses could not be verified.
• The damage caused by the current disaster has not made your home unsafe to live in. Your home is still safe, sanitary and functional.
• You indicated on your application that you did not want to move while your damaged home was being repaired. This made you ineligible for FEMA initial rental assistance. However, you may have since found further damage to your home and you now have to move.

Get in touch with FEMA to provide more information or missing documentation by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).

If you live in Lee County and have uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from the March 3 tornadoes, register for disaster assistance by visiting or calling 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY) to determine what federal, state, local or voluntary agency assistance may be available.


FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

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 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 to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

Last Updated: 
March 13, 2019 - 17:04