FEMA Appeals

FEMA Appeals

If your aid is denied, you may appeal the decision. Any FEMA decision regarding your application for individual assistance may be appealed. You may appeal a denial of assistance, the amount or type of assistance approved, overpayments determined, or denial of continued Temporary Housing Assistance. FEMA may also respond to an application for asssistance by asking for additional information, rejecting a late application, asking for information on insurance coverage or because they need to verify the applicant's identity or address.

Determination Letters:

Generally, within 10 days after an inspection, FEMA sends a determination letter.  The letter indicates the type or types of assistance, specifies reasons for denying assistance or requests additional information.  The determination letter will also provide information on how to appeal a  decision.  If you haven't received a determination letter after 10 days, contact FEMA.  There may have been an error in the mailing address or some other application information that may be reason for delay.

Common Reasons for Denial:

  1. You have insurance that covered the damages
  2. The damages were not caused by the current disaster
  3. The damages were not enough to affect living areas or personal property
  4. The home is not the primary residence of the owner
  5. The ownership of the home cannot be verified by FEMA
  6. The occupancy of the home could not be verified

You can file an appeal:

  1. Online by create an account at disasterassistance.gov
  2. In Person at a Disaster Recovery Center
  3. By Mail to: FEMA Individuals and Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
  4. By Fax: 1-800-827-8112 ATTN: FEMA - Individuals and Households Program, Appeals Officer.  Keep the fax confirmation page and confirm receipt by phone 1-800-621-3362

Keep copies of all documents and letters sent to FEMA.  

Things to Know:

  1. Appeals must be in writing and signed by you or your co-applicant. If you allow a third party to submit the appeal for you (like a lawyer for example), they must sign, and you must sign a statement authorizing them to do so.
  2. Include your FEMA registration number, supporting documents, such as a licensed contractor's estimate of damage and repairs, if applicable. 
  3. The appeal must be postmarked to FEMA within 60 days of the date listed on the initial letter of determination from FEMA.
  4. Decisions on your appeal are usually made by FEMA within 30 days, but can take up to 90 days after they receive the appeal letter.

Helpful Links

For more about FEMA Appeals  see: https://www.fema.gov/assistance/individual/after-applying/appeals

Or check out this video on FEMA Appeals