Hurricane Matthews: DISPUTES AND APPEALS ASSISTANCE TIPS


Dear Residents,
Those affected by Hurricane Matthew should apply with FEMA at (800) 621-3362, online at
DisasterAssistance.gov or visit a Disaster Recovery Center near you and file a claim with your insurance company, if insured. For residents who have completed a FEMA application and/or contacted your insurance company, agents should be getting in touch with you soon, if they have not already done so. Some residents have already received decisions and funds. If you were denied or believe your decision did not adequately cover your losses and need assistance with a dispute or appeal, please review the disputes and appeal assistance tips below. If you were not affected, but know someone affected by Hurricane Matthew, please share this information.

DISPUTES AND APPEALS ASSISTANCE TIPS

1. DOCUMENTATION:

A.  SAVE ALL RECEIPTS from any hotel stay during your displacement, the receipts you have while living other places (relatives, temporary shelter and etc.) and those from matters relating to the disaster.

B.  KEEP NOTES AND RECORD LOSSES. Use a cell phone to video or take photos of your losses.  Maintain a list or inventory of your losses. If you have insurance, your insurance claim and/or FEMA application may be denied, and you may need to dispute and/or appeal such decisions.

2. DISPUTE AND/OR APPEAL A DENIAL:

A.  INSURANCE CLAIM DISPUTE ASSISTANCE is available for affected residents at (855) 408-1212 and specific questions about flood insurance may be directed to the National Flood Insurance Call Center at (888) 379-9531.

B.  FEMA DISPUTE ASSISTANCE is available for residents who have been denied or if you simply do not understand FEMA’s decision. You may also visit the Disaster Recovery Center in your community or call (800) 621-3362. You may seek to dispute a decision prior to submitting a letter of appeal.

C.  IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS which should be collected to assist with an appeal may include:

* Decision letter from FEMA in response to your request for assistance;

* If you rent your apartment or home, a copy of the lease;

* Homeowners or flood insurance policy and any correspondence to/from the insurer regarding denial or settlement of the claim;

* Rent receipts or other proof of payment for alternate housing (if FEMA denied rental assistance);

* Correspondence from the Small Business Administration demonstrating ineligibility for a loan; and

* Estimates, contracts, receipts, cancelled checks, or other proof of expenditures for home repairs, personal property replacement, moving and storage costs, medical or dental treatment, or funeral expenses; and/or inspection reports, photographs, or other proof that your home was made uninhabitable by the storm.

D.  AN APPEAL OF A FEMA DECISION must be submitted in writing within 60 days from the date of FEMA’s decision letter.  The appeal letter should contain your legal name, FEMA application and disaster number, phone number, address, date of birth, place of birth, explanation of why you believe the decision is not correct and supporting evidence. The appeal letter must be notarized to include a copy of a state issued identification card or include the following statement within the appeal letter, “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”  You should keep a copy of your appeal letter for your records. 

Mail or fax your appeal letter to:

FEMA

National Processing Service Center

PO Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

(800) 827-8112 (fax)

E.   NC LEGAL AID is available to provide free legal assistance to eligible affected residents by calling (800) 662-7407.

If you have any questions, please contact my office at (919) 715-8363. 
Sincerely,
Don Davis

NC Senate

Authorized and Paid for by Don Davis for NC Senate

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