Applicants May Appeal an Initial FEMA Determination Letter

Hurricane Harvey survivors who registered with FEMA for disaster assistance have the right to appeal the agency’s decision in the determination letter.

The initial FEMA determination letter is intended to explain which category of assistance was processed and the decision made, including amount. The letter will also explain what action can be taken if the amount is insufficient or the decision is ineligible, and if any additional information should be provided for the decision to be reconsidered. It is imperative that all applicants carefully read their determination letter. Should they have any questions, believe the decision was made in error, or wish to provide additional information, they may contact FEMA to file an appeal.

All appeals must be made in the form of a signed letter within 60 days of the date on the determination letter. In the appeal, applicants should clearly explain why they disagree with the decision. The appeal should include any requested information and supporting documentation. If the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household, a statement must be included granting authorization to the writer to act on the applicant’s behalf.

All appeals letters must include the following:

  • Applicant’s full name, date of birth and current address
  • Applicant’s signature and the date
  • Applicant’s registration number (on every page)
  • FEMA disaster declaration number – DR-4332 (on every page)

Additionally, applicants must include a copy of a state-issued identification card with the letter. In the event that the applicant is unable to include proof of identification, the letter may be notarized or include the statement “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

Letters and supporting documentation may be uploaded quickly to an applicant’s account on DisasterAssistance.gov, faxed to 800-827-8112 with the cover sheet provided with the FEMA determination letter; or submitted at a Disaster Recovery Center where assistance is also available to assist applicants with ensuring all necessary documents are included. Letters may also be sent by mail to:

FEMA

National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD  20782-7055