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Monday, 19 June 2017 14:13

Understanding the FEMA Letter

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Survivors who apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a result of the federal declaration for flooding from April 28 to May 11, 2017 will receive a letter in the mail from FEMA. The letter will explain the status of their application and how to respond. It is important to read the letter carefully.

Many times applicants need to submit more information for FEMA to continue to process their application.

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 their primary residence at the time of the disaster.

Survivors who have questions about the letter may call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362; go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov; or visit a disaster recovery center.

To locate the nearest disaster recovery center, they may call the FEMA Helpline; use FEMA app for smart phones; or go online to www.fema.gov/DRC or https://recovery.mo.gov/.

Survivors may appeal FEMA’s decision. For example, if survivors feel the amount or type of assistance is incorrect, they may submit an appeal letter and any documents needed to support their claim, such as a contractor’s estimate for home repairs.

If survivors have insurance, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments. However, if they are underinsured they may receive further assistance for unmet needs after insurance claims have been settled.

How to Appeal a FEMA Decision

All appeals must be filed in writing to FEMA. Survivors should explain why they think the decision is incorrect. When submitting the letter, they should include:

  • Full name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Address of the damaged dwelling
  • FEMA registration number

In addition, the letter must either be notarized – if they choose this option, they should 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.” The survivor must sign the letter. 

If someone other than the survivor or the co-applicant is writing the letter, there must be a signed statement affirming that the person may act on their behalf. The survivor should keep a copy of the appeal for their 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

If survivors have any questions about submitting insurance documents, proving occupancy or ownership, or anything else about their letter, they may call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. Those who use TTY may call 800-462-7585; MO Relay 800-735-2966; CapTel 877-242-2823; Speech to Speech 877-735-7877; VCO 800-735-0135. Operators will be available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

FEMA and Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) are committed to ensuring services and assistance are available for people with disabilities or others with access and functional needs. When they register, they should let FEMA staff know that they have a need or a reasonable accommodation request.

The federal disaster declaration covers eligible losses caused by flooding and severe storms between April 28 and May 11, 2017 in these counties: Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Howell, Jasper, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Louis, Stone, Taney, and Texas.