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One of the most common reasons for denial concerns insurance. FEMA must deny aid until an insurance settlement is reached because assistance programs are not intended to duplicate insurance compensation or cover deductibles for disaster-related loss or damage.
But if the insurance settlement does not cover all of your disaster-related losses, you should ask FEMA to review your application to see if you are eligible for some form of assistance. Call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or the TTY line at 800-462-7585 for the deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired. The helpline is open from 7 a.m. to midnight daily until further notice.
Other reasons FEMA might send a denial letter could be:
- An unreturned disaster loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration;
- No record of the damaged property as your primary residence at the time of the disaster;
- No acceptable evidence of identity, documentation of disaster damage, or proof of ownership of the damaged property; or
- A missing signature.
SBA disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. The SBA can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.
Other programs that may still provide you with some form of assistance are Disaster Unemployment Assistance, legal and tax assistance, and voluntary agency assistance.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.