Sept. 30, 2016
News Desk: 225-382-1607
Louisiana Disaster Assistance Applicants:
Understand FEMA Determination Letters and How to Appeal Them
BATON ROUGE, La.— A quick fix may change your decision if you applied for FEMA help following Louisiana’s August severe storms and floods and you disagree with your determination letter.
Everybody has a right to appeal. Read your determination letter carefully to understand FEMA’s decision and know exactly what you need to do for your appeal.
Many times applicants just need to submit some extra documents for FEMA to process their application. FEMA can reconsider you in some cases if you:
- Submit insurance documents. Provide documents from your insurance company that detail 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.
- Prove occupancy. Provide documents that prove the damaged home or rental was your primary residence by supplying a copy of utility bills, driver’s license or lease.
- Prove ownership. Provide documents such as mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you don’t have a deed handy, contact your local or parish officials about obtaining a copy.
There are many other reasons you may disagree with FEMA’s decision. If you feel the amount or type of assistance is incorrect, submit an appeal letter and any documents to support your claim, including a contractor’s estimate for home repairs. You should have received a booklet called “Help After a Disaster” that explains what you need to provide for your situation. The booklet is available online at www.fema.gov/help-after-disaster.
Your letter should also include:
- Your full name
- Your registration number on all pages
- The FEMA disaster declaration number—DR-4277-LA—on all pages
- Your signature
Mail documents and your letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to:
FEMA National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
You can also submit them online at disasterassistance.gov or fax them to 800-827-8112.
If you have any questions about submitting insurance documents, proving occupancy or ownership, or anything else about your determination letter, you may call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service can call 800-621-3362. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. You can also visit a Louisiana disaster recovery center and speak with a disaster assistance representative. Locate your closest center by going online to fema.gov/drc or by calling the FEMA helpline.
Monitor DOTD’s www.511la.org website for updated road closure information. You can find the latest information on the state’s response at www.emergency.la.gov. GOHSEP also provides information on Facebook and Twitter. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. You can also download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion6 and the FEMA Blog at http://blog.fema.gov.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s website at SBA.gov/disaster Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
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Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of External Affairs 500 C Street, S.W, Washington, DC 20472 United States