A "no" doesn't necessarily mean you can't get help. FEMA says there are ways to get around its initial decision. Most of the time, all you need to do is turn in updated information.
FEMA says it's had to turn down applications for a lot of simple reasons, like not signing all the forms or not showing proof of ownership. Your decision letter will tell you why the application was denied and what you need to do to get an approval.
FEMA can also change its mind if it turns out your private insurance doesn't cover everything, but the appeal has to be returned within 60 days of your notice. If you want an appeal, you have to send a letter back explaining why you want the decision changed.
Appeal letters should include:
• Federal disaster declaration number ‘4157-DR-IL’ on all pages of documents
• Applicant information, including;
• Nine-digit FEMA application number on all pages of documents
• Date and place of birth
• Address of the damaged dwelling
• Copies of verifiable documentation supporting the appeal. All receipts, bills and estimates must include contact information for the service provider. Applicants should keep all originals for their records.
• A copy of a state-issued identification card, unless the letter is notarized or includes the following statement: “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
• The applicant’s signature.
Applicants may mail the appeal letter to:
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
Applicants may fax the appeal letter to:
(800) 827 - 8112
It is important to have appeal letters postmarked within 60 days of the date on the decision letter.
Questions about appealing:
(800) 621 - FEMA (3362)
TTY (800) 462 - 7585
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