If you have questions about your determination letter from FEMA or think a mistake has been made, you can appeal. But first, be sure to carefully read the letter in full to understand your determination. If you have questions, you should call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). If your FEMA status cannot be cleared up by phone, then a written appeal should be postmarked to FEMA within 60 days of when the determination letter was sent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q - WHY should an applicant appeal a FEMA decision?
An appeal letter allows you to ask FEMA for a second look at your application and may result in a different decision. You may only need to provide documentation to change the outcome.
Q – WHO needs to appeal a FEMA decision?
Anyone who feels that their case did not result in a positive decision or who feels they should have received additional funds has the right to ask FEMA to take another look.
Q – WHAT are you able to appeal?
An applicant can appeal decisions on eligibility for or the amount of FEMA grants, a denial of Continued Rental Assistance, a determination of eligibility for Direct Housing Assistance, or any other eligibility-related decision.
Q - WHEN does the appeal need to be made?
Your appeal letter needs to be postmarked to FEMA within 60 days of the date on your determination letter.
Q – WHERE do I send the letter?
Send it to:
FEMA - Appeals Officer
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
You can also fax letters to 800-827-8112 with a cover sheet addressed to: Attention - FEMA Appeals Officer.
To set up a FEMA online account or to upload documents online, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov and click on “Check Your Application and Log In” and follow the directions.
Q – WHAT needs to be included in the letter?
In your letter:
Explain why you think the decision you received is not correct.
Include your full name, date, place of birth and address.
Your letter must either be notarized, include a copy of a state-issued identification card or include the following statement: "I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. ''
You must sign and date the letter. If someone else files the appeal for you, you must also submit a signed statement giving that person authority to represent you.
Include any documentation you need to provide.
Appeal letters should include your FEMA disaster identification registration number (found at the top of your decision letter) and the federal disaster declaration number (for the Louisiana hurricanes, Laura is DR-4559-LA; Delta is DR-4570-LA; Zeta is DR-4577-LA and the severe winter storms disaster is DR-4590-LA).
Here is a sample of an appeal letter:
After FEMA receives the appeal, FEMA reviews the letter and the applicant's file to determine if there is sufficient documentation to change FEMA's determination. If more information is needed to make a determination, FEMA takes one or more of the following actions:
Calls the applicant and sends a letter requesting additional information with a deadline of 30 days to submit the additional information
Contacts a third party, such as a contractor, insurance company, or mechanic to verify submitted information
Schedules an appeal inspection
FEMA notifies applicants in writing about the appeal decision within 90 days of the receipt of the appeal letter.
For more information on the FEMA appeals process, visit FEMA Answers: Questions on the Appeals Process.