Read FEMA Determination Letter Carefully; You Have the Right to Appeal

Release Date Release Number
NR 010
Release Date:
October 1, 2020

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama survivors who applied for federal disaster assistance as a result of Hurricane Sally will receive a determination letter from FEMA, explaining the eligibility decision and the reason for that decision.

If you are eligible, the letter states the dollar amount of your grant and how the funds should be used. If ineligible, the letter explains why, and tell you how you can appeal that decision.

It is important to read the determination letter carefully to identify the reason for being declared ineligible. Some common reasons include:

  • You may be insured and need to provide an insurance settlement or denial to be considered for assistance.
  • Additional information may be needed, such as proof of identity, proof of occupancy, annual income, or a childcare assistance letter.
  • There may have been multiple registrations using your address.
  • Damage to a secondary residence (where you live less than six months of the year) is not eligible for assistance.
  • Your home is safe to occupy, and/or personal property had minimum or no damage.
  • Missed home inspections and no follow-up communication with FEMA.
  • FEMA has been unable to contact you.

Many of these issues can be easily resolved by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY) 800-462-7585. 6 a.m. to midnight central time 7 days a week.

If that does not resolve the problem, everyone has a right of appeal. To do so, you must send a letter to FEMA asking for reconsideration and explaining in detail why the appeal is being filed.

  • FEMA will need your full name, address of pre-disaster residence, current phone number and address, and signature. The appeal must be postmarked within 60 days of the date the FEMA denial letter was received.
  • Include the statement, “I hereby declare under the penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
  • Date the appeal letter, include your nine-digit FEMA application number and the disaster code (DR-4563-AL), and upload to, mail or fax it to:

FEMA National Processing Service Center
P. O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

Fax: 800-827-8112; Attention: FEMA

An easy way to provide any additional information needed is by setting up an online account and uploading documents there.

To set up a disaster assistance account:

  • Go to
  • Select the Create Account button at the bottom of the page and follow instructions.
  • A PIN will be sent to the email address on file. Then log into the account.
  • You can then upload your important documents in the Upload Center. (This page takes you to the login if you are returning to add more documents:
    For the latest information on Hurricane Sally, visit
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