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  • How Survivors Can Appeal FEMA’s Finding of Ineligibility

    Louisiana residents affected by the recent winter storms who received a letter saying they were ineligible for FEMA assistance can appeal. Sometimes FEMA just needs more information. There may be problems with your application that can be resolved quickly and easily. So read your determination letter carefully.
    Not everyone who applies will necessarily qualify for a FEMA grant. The amount and type of assistance you receive might be different from the assistance your neighbor receives, even though the damage is similar. Applicants for FEMA assistance are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
    Should you disagree with FEMA’s decision and wish to appeal, here are some tips:
    An appeal should be filed in the form of a letter within 60 days of the date on your determination letter. In the letter, explain why you disagree with the decision.
    Make sure to include the following:
    • Your full name, date of birth and current address;
    • Your nine-digit FEMA registration number on each page;
    • Your and/or any co-applicant’s signature and the date of submitting the appeal.
    FEMA can review its decision in some cases if you:
    • Provide documents from your insurance company showing that your coverage or settlement is insufficient to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay, or replace certain contents. FEMA cannot duplicate homeowner or renter insurance benefits but may approve assistance if your property is uninsured or underinsured.
    • Provide documents proving the damaged home or rental was your primary residence, such as utility bills, driver’s license or lease.
    • Provide documents such as mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you do not have a deed, you may obtain a copy at the parish offices in which your property is located.
    • To further support your appeal, your documentation might include:
    • Your contractor’s estimate for hurricane-related home repairs;
    • Receipts for repairs, replacements and cleanup; and
    • Other proof of your disaster losses, such as photographs of the damage to your home and appraisals and photographs of furniture and other personal property.
    There is no fee to file an appeal, and you do not need a third party to represent you. If you choose to have a third party submit an appeal on your behalf, the appeal letter must be signed by the third party. Include a statement signed by you authorizing the third party to appeal on your behalf.
    Mail your appeal letter to FEMA-Individuals & Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P. O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055.
    Appeal letters and supporting documentation also can be uploaded to your account if you opened one at DisasterAssistance.gov, or you can fax them to 800-827-8112.
    For questions about eligibility letters, survivors can visit DisasterAssistance.gov or call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
    For more information on the FEMA appeals process visit, FEMA Answers: Questions on the Appeals Process.
    It is recommended if you use a relay service such as your videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel, you provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA can contact you. Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
    For the latest information on the winter storm, visit Louisiana Severe Winter Storms (DR-4590-LA) | FEMA.gov or follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6.