Disagree with FEMA: Everybody Has a Right to Appeal

Disagree With FEMA? Everybody Has a Right to Appeal


BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Hurricane Irma survivors who disagree with the determination letter they receive from the Federal Emergency Management Agency may find that a quick fix is all that is needed to change the decision.


Everybody has a right to appeal. The first step is to read the determination letter carefully to understand FEMA’s decision and learn exactly what is needed to appeal.

If you do not understand the letter, the best thing to do is take it to a Disaster Recovery Center. To locate the nearest center, use the FEMA mobile app or visit www.FEMA.gov/DRC.


Many times applicants just need to submit additional documents for FEMA to process their application. FEMA can reconsider an application, in some cases, if the applicant:

  • Submits insurance documents: Provide documents from your insurance company that show your coverage or settlement is insufficient to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay or replace certain contents. FEMA cannot duplicate homeowner or renter insurance benefits.
  • Prove occupancy: Provide documents that prove the damaged home or rental was your primary residence by supplying a copy of utility bills, driver’s license or lease.
  • Prove ownership: Provide documents such as mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you don’t have a deed handy, you should contact your local county officials about how to obtain a copy.


As a Hurricane Irma survivor, you may submit an appeal letter if you think the amount and type of assistance is incorrect. Disaster survivors will receive a letter from FEMA detailing the requirements to qualify for assistance. Applicants who can provide documentation that they believe justifies why they should receive FEMA Individual Assistance should include copies of those documents in their appeal letter.


Your letter should also include:

  • Your full name
  • Your FEMA registration number on all pages
  • A contractor’s estimate for home repairs
  • The FEMA disaster declaration number—DR-4338-GA—on all pages
  • Your signature


You must submit your appeal within 60 days of receiving a determination letter. Mail your documents and letter to:

FEMA National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055


You can also submit your appeal online at DisasterAssistance.gov, fax it to 800-827-8112, or take it to a Disaster Recovery Center.

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