Understanding your FEMA letter

TALLHASSEE, Fla. Hurricane Michael survivors who applied for disaster assistance will receive a “letter of eligibility” following an initial application review by FEMA. Survivors should carefully read this letter as it explains the status of their application, how to respond, the amount of any assistance that FEMA may provide, and how to appropriately use federal disaster-assistance funds.

Survivors may receive an “ineligible” letter, which may mean additional information is needed to process their application. Examples of missing documentation include proof of identity, occupancy, or ownership of the damaged property; proof that the damaged property is a primary residence at the time of the disaster; proof of insurance coverage and insurance claim settlements.

For questions about eligibility letters, survivors can visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or call the Disaster Assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).

Survivors may also appeal the information in their letter. For instance, if the amount or type of assistance is incorrect, then a survivor may submit an appeal letter and any documents needed to support their claim.

How to Appeal a Decision

All appeals must be filed in writing to FEMA. In a signed letter, applicants must explain the reason(s) for their appeal. The appeal letter should also include:

Full name

Disaster number

Address of the pre-disaster primary residence

Applicant’s current phone number and address

FEMA registration number

If someone other than the applicant or co-applicant is writing the letter, they must sign the appeal letter, and the applicant must provide FEMA a signed statement authorizing that the person may act on their behalf.

Appeal letters must be postmarked within 60 days of receiving the FEMA letter. Appeal letters and supporting documents may be submitted to FEMA by fax or mail or online if the applicant has a FEMA online account. To set up a FEMA online account, an applicant must visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “check status” and follow the directions.

By mail: FEMA P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

By fax: 800-827-8112 Attention: FEMA