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FEMA | Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter

If you applied for assistance from FEMA, you will receive a letter from FEMA in the mail or via email. The letter will explain your application status and how to respond. It is important to read the letter carefully because it will include the amount of any assistance FEMA may provide and information on the appropriate use of disaster assistance funds.

You may need to submit additional information or supporting documentation for FEMA to continue to process an application for financial assistance. Examples of missing documentation may include:

  • Proof of insurance coverage
  • Settlement of insurance claims or denial letter from insurance provider
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of occupancy
  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof that the damaged property was the applicant’s primary residence at the time of the disaster

If you have questions about your letter, or disagree with the initial decision, visit a Disaster Recovery Center or call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 to find out what information FEMA needs.

How to Appeal

The letter from FEMA will provide information on the types of documents or information that FEMA needs. It will also include an optional appeal form that you can use. Your appeal must be submitted within 60 days of the date of your decision letter.

You can submit your appeal and supporting documentation:

FEMA Individuals & Households Program

National Processing Service Center

P. O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

  • By fax

(800) 827-8112
Attention: FEMA - Individuals & Households Program

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FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

FEMA Civil Rights Office works to ensure assistance is distributed equitably, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status. Any disaster survivor and member of the public may contact the Civil Rights Office if they feel that they are the victim of discrimination. FEMA’s Civil Rights Office can be contacted toll-free at 833-285-7448. Multilingual operators are available; press #2 for Spanish.