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Denied FEMA assistance? Representative explains appeal process

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 1:02 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Many Western Kentuckians who applied for FEMA assistance are starting to learn the status of their applications. Some have reached out to WBKO news saying they were denied, even though they felt as if they qualified.

Troy York, a representative of FEMA, said if you were denied, there is an appeals process to better your chances of getting the help you need. First, he said to make sure you are looking at the letter you received from FEMA carefully.

“Because somewhere near the bottom of that letter, it’s going to say specifically, why they may have been turned down,” York explained. “Could be something simple, a piece of information that was omitted on their original application, and they’re asked to supply that.”

However, if you read the document, and need to follow through with the appeals process you can either call 1-800-621-3362 or create an account on disasterassistance.gov. It is recommended to visit a FEMA center to discuss your appeal request with a FEMA representative. There is one at the Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green. You have 60 days from the date on the denial letter to submit an appeal.

“If you are denied, then what you do is you gather up all the information that you think will be helpful to your appeal,” York said. “It could be an estimate from a contractor that you didn’t have before, it could be some receipts, it could be photos, any and all kinds of information that you can bring.”

The appeal must be submitted in writing in a signed and dated letter. It has to include the FEMA disaster number and application number on all documents. If someone other than the applicant writes the appeal letter, that person must sign it and provide FEMA with a signed statement authorizing that person to act on behalf of the applicant.

(En Español)

Some renters believe they have been denied assistance because they have renter’s insurance. York said this would not be the case, though renters may have a more unique case.

“FEMA works with persons who are insured, underinsured, or not insured at all,” York explained. “Now, what could happen is, if your policy already provides for you to receive certain assistance that FEMA might also provide, FEMA is prohibited by law to duplicate your resource.”

Denied FEMA Assistance? You Can Appeal the Decision.

The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is February 11th.

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