FEMA Accessible: Understanding Your Letter
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FEMA Accessible: Understanding Your Letter

If you apply for disaster assistance as a
result of a recent federally declared disaster, you will receive either an email or a letter
in the mail from FEMA, depending which you choose. The email or letter will explain FEMA’s programs and the next steps you need
to take for your disaster recovery. It is very important to
read the information carefully. You may need to send extra documents for
FEMA to continue to process your application. If additional information is needed in order
for FEMA to process your application, FEMA will contact you to explain exactly
what documents you need to provide. Examples of requested documents
may include insurance settlement letters, proof you own or rent the damaged property, or proof the damaged property was
where you were living at the time of the disaster. If you have questions or need to find
the closest Disaster Recovery Center, you can call FEMA at the number listed on
your email or letter or visit DisasterAssistance.gov. If you disagree with FEMA’s decision,
you may appeal. For example, if you think FEMA did not give you enough assistance to cover your losses, you can send an appeal letter
and any documents you have to support your claim, such as a contractor’s estimate for home repairs. If you have insurance and you received
money from your insurance provider, FEMA cannot send you money for the same losses. However, if your insurance doesn’t cover
all of your disaster-caused needs, FEMA may be able to assist. It is important to file a claim with your
insurance company as soon as possible. All appeals sent to FEMA must be signed and written, with a clear explanation of why you
disagree with FEMA’s decision. When you send your appeal, please include
your full name, damaged property address, current address and phone number,
and FEMA application number and disaster number. You should always keep a copy
of your appeal letter for your records. Your appeal letter must be sent within 60 days of receiving your FEMA decision email or letter. You can send your appeal: By mail at FEMA, P.O. Box 10055,
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055. Or by fax at 800-827-8112. FEMA makes reasonable accommodations to
policies, practices, and procedures to ensure physical, programmatic, and effective communication access to FEMA disaster assistance. This may include using technologies and services
to ensure effective communication with applicants with limited English proficiency, applicants with disabilities, and other individuals with access and functional needs. Disaster survivors may request
and receive reasonable accommodations to access FEMA programs and services at any time, including during application, inspection,
community meetings, briefings, or by contacting FEMA by phone
at 800-621-3362 or visiting a local Disaster Recovery Center.

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