Disagree with FEMA’s Decision? You Have Options

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
October 22, 2021

BATON ROUGE, La. – If you disagree with FEMA’s decision on disaster assistance, you have the option to submit an appeal and have FEMA look at your case again.

After applying for FEMA assistance, you will receive a letter explaining FEMA’s eligibility decision and the reason for that decision. Read your letter carefully because it specifies why you may not be eligible and recommends actions you can take that may change the decision.

You may need to provide additional information or documents. For example, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits from other sources, including insurance. However, if your insurance policy doesn’t cover all your essential needs, you may submit your insurance settlement documents for FEMA to review.

Examples of other missing documents may include proof of residence, proof of ownership of the damaged property, or proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.

Additionally, if you told FEMA your home was safe to live in when you applied, but your situation has changed, you can contact the FEMA Helpline by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800- 462-7585) to have your property inspected and reconsidered for assistance.

Appealing a FEMA Decision

Everyone has the right to appeal a FEMA decision. An appeal must be filed in the form of a signed letter from the applicant, within 60 days of the date on the decision letter. In the appeal, explain why you disagree with the decision. Include any requested information and supporting documentation.

FEMA will review your appeal and any documentation you have provided. Sometimes another inspection will be conducted. If more information is needed, we will contact you. Once the appeal has been reviewed – including verification calls to contractors or others – a determination will be made on your appeal.

Within 90 days of the receipt of the appeal letter, FEMA will notify you in writing about the appeal decision. Be sure to include the following in an appeal:

  • Applicant’s full name, current address and phone number
  • Address of the applicant’s pre-disaster primary residence
  • Applicant’s signature and the date
  • Applicant’s registration number (on every page)
  • FEMA disaster declaration number – DR-4611 (on every page)

If you, the applicant, don’t write the appeal letter yourself, you need to include a statement granting the writer authorization to act on your behalf.


Appeal letters and supporting documentation can be uploaded quickly to your account on DisasterAssistance.gov or faxed to 800-827-8112. Please ensure all faxes include the cover sheet provided with your FEMA decision letter.

Your appeal may also be submitted at a Disaster Recovery Center where staff are available to assist you with ensuring all necessary documents are included. You can find the nearest center by visiting www.FEMA.gov/DRC.

Appeals can also be mailed to:

FEMA National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

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