If you or someone you know has applied or is thinking of applying for federal disaster assistance, this may be of interest. Also note that the deadline for applying for assistance in Hays County is July 28, 2015.

Letter on Eligibility May Not Be Last Word on Disaster Assistance

for Texans Affected by Storms, Floods

AUSTIN, Texas – A letter stating a household is ineligible for disaster assistance may not be the

final word on a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) application.

The most common reasons for receiving a determination of ineligibility are:

 Adequate insurance coverage.

 Insufficient storm-related damage.

 Missing documentation needed to complete the assistance evaluation process.

Examples of missing documentation may include an insurance settlement letter, proof of

residence, proof of ownership of the damaged property, and proof that the damaged property was

the applicant’s primary residence at the time of the disaster. If instructed and needed, applicants

can simply submit missing documentation to FEMA online, by mail or fax, or by visiting a

Disaster Recovery Center.

“We want to ensure everyone eligible for disaster assistance receives as much help as possible,”

said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes. Disaster assistance for homeowners and

renters may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs or other

serious disaster-related needs. “But remember – grants only cover uninsured or under-insured

losses.”

 

If you receive a letter of ineligibility, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362), or

(TTY) 800-462-7585 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) to check the status of your application,

update your contact numbers or ask any questions. Users of 711 or Video Relay Services should

call 800-621-3362.

Applicants ineligible for FEMA grants may still be eligible for other programs, such as disaster

unemployment assistance. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business

Administration (SBA) are also available for businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit

organizations, homeowners and renters to pay for repair or replacement costs not covered by

insurance or other sources.

Residents and business owners may automatically be referred to the SBA for possible lowinterest

disaster recovery loans that cover these losses not fully compensated by insurance or

other resources and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

You should not wait for your insurance settlement to begin an application for a low-interest

disaster from SBA. In disaster recovery, SBA’s low-interest loans may be the primary source of

the federal funds for the long-term repair and replacement of disaster-damaged private property

for business of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters.

If an applicant has insurance, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments. However, underinsured

applicants may receive further assistance for unmet needs after insurance claims have

been settled.

“If you are unable to live in your home due to disaster damage and your insurance policy does

not cover temporary rental assistance, you may be eligible for rental assistance from FEMA,”

said Hannes. “If you suffered damage and you’re still waiting for an insurance settlement

payment, you may be eligible for an advance from FEMA.”

When requesting an increase in a FEMA grant award for home repairs, applicants should submit

repair estimates, receipts or invoices to wage an effective appeal.

 

Applicants may appeal any FEMA decision. By doing so, they are asking FEMA to review their

case again. “For instance, if you discover you need more disaster-related home repairs than first

projected, you can appeal the initial determination,” said Hannes.

 

All appeals must be filed in writing to FEMA. Applicants should explain why they think the

decision is not correct (and attaching contractor’s estimates might be beneficial as well). To ensure accuracy and help FEMA personnel process your appeal

quickly, please include the following information in your letter of appeal:

 Your full name

 The address of your damaged property

 Current contact information

 Disaster number: DR-4223-TX

 Last four digits of your Social Security number

 Your birthdate and place of birth

 Your 9-digit FEMA registration number on each page and on supporting documentation

 Your letter must be either notarized, include a copy of a state issued identification card,

or include the following statement, “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the

foregoing is true and correct.”

 You must sign the letter

If someone other than you or the co-applicant is writing the letter, there must be a signed

statement from you affirming that the person may act on your behalf. You should keep a copy of

your appeal for your records.

To file an appeal, letters must be postmarked, received by fax, or personally submitted at a

Disaster Recovery Center within 60 days of the date on the determination letter.

By mail:

FEMA – Individuals & Households Program

National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

By fax:

800-827-8112

Attention: FEMA – Individuals & Households Program

 

Applicants may check the status of their applications or update their contact information online

at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or

(TTY) 800-462-7585. The toll-free phone lines remain open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time),

seven days a week until further notice.

More information on filing an appeal can be found online at www.disasterassistance.gov or in

the Help After a Disaster that FEMA mails to each applicant.

Posted by Laureen Chernow Monday, June 29, 2015 2:17:00 PM Categories: Press Releases

-June 2015+
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