Turned Down for FEMA Assistance? You Could Be the One to Fix It

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — Sevier County wildfire survivors applying for FEMA disaster assistance may easily overlook a small detail that can result in a letter of ineligibility.

 Common reasons for a determination of ineligibility include:

  • lack of verification of occupancy of the damaged property
  • proof of identity
  • no documentation of disaster damage
  • coverage by an insurance policy

In the case of an insurance denial, notify FEMA of the insurance settlement and the case will be reviewed again. In other situations, provide the requested information.

If the letter says “Ineligible,” it will contain a code with an explanation for the denial. If the explanation is unclear, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (for voice, 711 or Video Relay Services) or TTY 800-462-7585 for the deaf or hard of hearing.

A survivor’s application status may also be checked at DisasterAssistance.gov. Click on the “Check Status” link at the far right of the home page.

Letters may indicate the amount of any approved grant and how the money should be used. Using the grant for purposes other than indicated may prevent disbursement of additional assistance.

Applicants from Sevier County have 60 days from the date on FEMA’s decision letter to file an appeal on ineligibility or amount of the grant. The letter must explain the reason for the appeal and include:

  • Applicant’s full name
  • Applicant’s FEMA registration number
  • Disaster number (4293)
  • Address of the applicant’s pre-disaster primary residence
  • Applicant’s current phone number and address
  • Documentation supporting the appeal such as contractor repair estimates, insurance settlement letters, proof of residence and proof of ownership
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to include the following signed statement: “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.” Other options are to submit a copy of a state-issued ID card or to notarize the letter. However, be aware that if the notary stamp is embossed and not in color, it may not scan to be readable.

Mail or fax the letter as follows:

Mail:
FEMA
National Process Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

Fax:
800-827-8112
Attention: FEMA 

Federal assistance is available to eligible individuals and households who were affected by the Nov. 28 to Dec. 9 wildfires in Sevier County.

For updates on Tennessee’s wildfire response and recovery, follow @FEMARegion4 on Twitter and visit TNEMA.org/, mountaintough.org/ and fema.gov/disaster/4293.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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