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Understanding the FEMA eligibility letter

West Virginians who applied for disaster assistance after the severe storms, mudslides, landslides and flooding that occurred June 22 – June 29, should be sure to read letters or other correspondence from FEMA carefully. Sometimes you may need to provide additional documents or information in order to be eligible for assistance or for a determination to be made.
Common examples of missing information are:
• An insurance settlement or denial letter;
• Proof of ownership of the damaged home; or
• The address provided during the application process is not the same as the address where damage occurred.
You can simply submit missing documentation to FEMA online, by mail or fax, or by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center. Providing this information could determine eligibility for assistance. There are also various reasons you may not qualify for federal disaster assistance such as, the damaged property was not the primary residence at the time of the disaster, adequate insurance coverage or someone else in the household may have applied and received assistance.
If you are ineligible for FEMA grants you may still be eligible for other programs, such as state disaster unemployment assistance. Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are also available for businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to pay for repair or replacement costs not covered by insurance or other sources. Help may also be available from volunteer agencies.
FEMA assistance never duplicates insurance benefits but if insurance is not enough to cover all the eligible damage, the initial determination may change.
FEMA and its state and federal partners are committed to helping West Virginia recover from the recent disaster. If questions arise, call the FEMA helpline (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362. (TTY users should call 800-462-7585.) The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. You can also talk with specialists individually by visiting a disaster recovery center. To locate the nearest center, visit http://go.usa.gov/x3NnJ or call the FEMA helpline.
You may appeal any FEMA determination. By doing so, you are asking FEMA to review your case again. All appeals must be filed in writing to FEMA. You should explain why you think the decision is not correct and provide additional supporting documents such as repair estimates, receipts, or invoices.
To ensure accuracy and quick processing of your appeal, please include the following information in your letter of appeal:
• Your full name
• The address of your damaged property
• Current contact information
• Disaster number: DR-4273-WV
• Last four digits of your Social Security number
• Your 9-digit FEMA registration number on each page and on supporting documentation
• Your letter should include the following statement, “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
• You must sign the letter.
If someone other than you or the co-applicant is writing the letter, there must be a signed statement from you affirming the person may act on your behalf. You should keep a copy of your appeal for your 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.
You may check the status of your application or update contact information online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the FEMA helpline, 800-621-3362.