Understanding a FEMA Determination Letter

If you apply for FEMA help due to losses from the March 19-20, 2018, tornadoes and severe storms in Calhoun, Cullman or Etowah counties, you will or have received a determination letter confirming a grant amount or that your application for federal assistance is “ineligible” or “incomplete.”

If ineligible or incomplete, be sure to read the letter all the way through to the end to see what the reason is. Keep in mind there may be more than one reason why you are ineligible or your application is incomplete.

Everyone has the right to appeal FEMA’s determination. Many times applicants just need to submit some extra documents for FEMA to process the application. Sometimes there is more than one problem in your application.

FEMA can reconsider your application in some cases if you:

  • Submit insurance documents. Provide documents from your insurance company that verify 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 a utility bill, driver’s license or lease agreement.
  • Prove ownership. Provide documents such as mortgage papers or insurance policies, tax receipts or a deed. If you don’t have a deed at hand, contact your local or county officials about obtaining a copy.

A brochure, “Help after a Disaster” explains what you need to provide in your appeal. The brochure is available online at www.fema.gov/help-after-disaster.

Your letter should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your FEMA registration number on all pages
  • The FEMA this disaster declaration number – DR-4362-AL – on all pages
  • Your signature

You must mail or fax documents and your letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to:

FEMA National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

Or, fax to 800-827-8112, attention: FEMA Individuals and Households Programs.