Federal gov issues guidance regarding FEMA Decision Letters

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According to a Monday news release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Louisiana residents who applied for federal assistance after sustaining damage from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding from May 17 - 21 should expect to receive a letter from FEMA in the mail or via email.

The letter will explain the status of their application and how to respond.

If a citizen has turned in all required information and is eligible for a FEMA grant, the letter will tell them the dollar amount of their grant and how the funds should be used.

On the other hand, if the letter says their application is ineligible, it will explain why it did not qualify or what FEMA still needs to know. It also tells citizens how to appeal the decision if they disagree.

Applicants may only need to submit additional information to FEMA. Examples of missing documentation may include proof of insurance coverage, a copy of an insurance claim settlement document, proof of identity, proof of occupancy, proof of ownership and/or proof that the damaged property was the applicant’s primary residence when the storms, tornadoes or flooding happened.

One 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 www.disasterassistance.gov/.

-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: https://go.usa.gov/xUPX5.

FEMA says those who are unable to set up an online account or have questions about their letter should call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585.

Anyone who disagrees with FEMA’s decision on whether they are eligible for assistance, or the amount of assistance, may submit an appeal letter and documents supporting their claim, such as a copy of a utility bill or a contractor’s estimate for home repairs.

FEMA says it cannot duplicate assistance provided by another source, such as an insurance settlement. But if insurance did not cover the cost of repairs, citizens may receive further assistance after their claim is settled by submitting the insurance settlement documents to FEMA.

Appeals must be made by sending a signed and dated letter, explaining the reason(s) for the appeal. 

It should also include: the applicant’s full name, the disaster number (4606 in Louisiana), the address where the applicant lived at the time of the disaster and the applicant’s current phone number and address.

A FEMA Helpline specialist can provide assistance at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585.

Letters must be postmarked within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. Appeal letters and supporting documents may be submitted to FEMA by fax or mail or via a FEMA online account.

Mail:

FEMA National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

Fax:

800-827-8112

Attention: FEMA

For the latest information on the May 17-21 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4606