NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -- If you applied for FEMA disaster assistance related to the March 3rd tornado, you can expect a letter from the agency in the mail or by email.
Your letter will include the status of your application, as well as how to respond and next steps.
Read your letter carefully, because it may include notes on how much disaster assistance funding you may receive. They will also detail the appropriate use of those disaster assistance funds.
Your application status may be pending, and FEMA may require that you submit additional documents before they continue processing your application.
Examples of missing documentation may include:
• Proof of insurance coverage
• Settlement of insurance claims
• 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
Those who have questions about their letters may go online to DisasterAssistance.gov or call the disaster assistance helpline at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY).
A FEMA inspection determines if someone is eligible for federal disaster assistance and whether a home is safe, sanitary and functional.
The agency considers the following factors when determining whether assistance will be provided:
• The exterior of the home is structurally sound, including the doors, roof and windows.
• The electricity, gas, heat, plumbing and sewer or septic systems function properly.
• The interior’s habitable areas are structurally sound, including the ceiling and floors.
• The home is capable of functioning for its intended purpose.
• There is safe access to and from the home.
FEMA assistance is not the same as insurance.
FEMA assistance only provides funds for basic work to make a home habitable, including toilets, a roof, critical utilities, windows and doors.
Appealing FEMA’s Decision Applicants who disagree with FEMA’s decision, or the amount of assistance, may submit an appeal letter and documents supporting their claim, such as a contractor’s estimate for home repairs.
FEMA cannot duplicate assistance provided by another source, such as insurance settlements or other program, and does not cover insurance deductibles.
However, those who are underinsured may receive further assistance for unmet needs after insurance claims have been settled by submitting insurance settlement or denial documents to FEMA.
Appeals must be in writing. In a signed and dated letter, explain the reason(s) for the appeal.
It should also include:
• Applicant’s full name
• Disaster number (4476 in Tennessee)
• Address of the pre-disaster primary residence
• Applicant’s current phone number and address
• The FEMA registration number on all documents
If someone other than an applicant or co-applicant writes the appeal letter, that person must sign it and provide FEMA with a signed statement authorizing the individual to act on behalf of the applicant.
Letters must be postmarked within 60 days of the date of the determination letter.
Appeal letters and supporting documents may be submitted to FEMA by fax or mail or via a FEMA online account.
To set up an online account, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “Check Status” and follow the directions.
By mail: FEMA National Processing Service Center P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville MD 20782-7055 By fax: 800-827-8112 Attention: FEMA
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.
If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for medical and dental expenses, funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.