UNDERSTANDING A FEMA DETERMINATION LETTER AND HOW TO APPEAL

Applicants who disagree with their FEMA decision letter for federal assistance for the April 29 -July 5 storms and flooding in Missouri may want to appeal.

According to a news release, Missouri residents should read their entire letter to see why they are ineligible for FEMA assistance and how to appeal.

For help understanding the letter, call FEMA at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). TTY users may call (800) 462-7585.

· Additional documentation may be all it takes for FEMA to take another look at an application or home inspection. A simple solution is to check the accuracy of your name, birthday and Social Security number.

· Applicants have the right to appeal FEMA’s eligibility decisions, including the amount of the award. FEMA’s grant amounts vary because every situation is different.

· Free legal assistance is available to those who need help with disaster-related issues such as appealing FEMA decisions. Call the disaster hotline at (800) 829-4128 to leave a message including your name, phone number and county of residence. Your call will be returned during business hours.

· A brochure called “Help After a Disaster” is accessible online and explains the actions an applicant should take.

· Applicants are also required to submit an appeal letter explaining why FEMA should re-evaluate its decision. The letter should include:
o Applicant’s full name;
o The registration number and FEMA disaster number – DR-4451-MO – on the top or bottom of all pages;
o Contractor’s estimate for home repairs (if applicable);
· Appeals must be submitted within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. All documentation and the appeal letter can be:
o Delivered to the nearest disaster recovery center location;
o Uploaded to your account at DisasterAssistance.gov;

o Faxed to (800) 827-8112, Attn: FEMA Appeals Officer;
o Mailed to: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055;
· Missouri residents can also apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the federal government’s primary source of funding for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. Applying with SBA ensures you will be considered for all FEMA assistance.

· For more SBA information, residents may contact (800) 659-2955. Applicants may also email SBA disaster customer service or visit SBA’s disaster webpage. If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, call text relay at (800) 877-8339.

Get the latest information at Missouri’s recovery website and FEMA’s disaster webpage.