FEMA: Understand what your ineligibility letter means and what to do next

There are some applicants that may have received a letter of ineligibity for housing assistance from FEMA following February’s historic flood.

If you or someone you know received a letter, FEMA says there are several reasons why:

Insufficient damage

FEMA says the damage to the home did not make the home unsafe to live in and is still safe and functional.

Ineligible applicants can dispute the inspector’s decision by appealing with third-party documentation that states the home is uninhabitable.

You were insured

If your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your flooding-related needs, contact FEMA

No initial relocation

If you did not move during the flood or while your home was being repaired, this could have caused you to be ineligible for housing assistance, according to FEMA.

Housing needs change. If they have, contact FEMA to update your housing status.

FEMA could not verify your identity

Ineligibility could have been caused because a social security number could not be verified. A duplicate registration for the same household could also be to blame.

Proof of occupancy

Utility bills, bank or credit card statements, phone bills, pay stubs, driver’s licenses, state-issued ID cards, or voter registration cards can be used to prove occupancy at a certain address.

If you were deemed an ineligible applicant, FEMA says you can appeal the decision by sending a letter with additional documentation within 60 days of receiving the initial ineligibility letter.

Send your appeal to FEMA’s Individuals and Household Programs, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville MD 20782-7055.

Documents can also be faxed to 800-827-8112.

The agency notes if you are ineligible for FEMA assistance, you may still be able to get a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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