Since the presidential major declaration on July 14, thousands of Vermonters have already filed an application. Some may receive a letter stating that their claim is ineligible for assistance. If you receive that letter, you may be able to change the outcome. Many times, it’s a simple fix. An application is often ineligible because additional information is needed.
The deadline to apply for assistance is October 12, 2023.
Here are some tips to consider when appealing a FEMA ineligible determination.
- Tip 1: Know your deadline.
- Tip 2: Understand why FEMA deemed your claim ineligible before writing the appeal.
- Tip 3: Include evidence to support your appeal.
Some documents you may want to include:
To verify ownership, homeowners may provide any of these documents:
The original deed, title, deed of trust to the property, or official record
Mortgage payment booklet or other mortgage documents such as a late-payment notice, mortgage summary or escrow analysis
Property tax receipt or bill
Manufactured-home certificate or property title
Structural property insurance documentation
Real Estate Provision
Contract for Deed
Land Installment Contract
Receipts for major repairs or improvements
Letter from a public official that includes your name, damaged home address, how long you’ve lived there, and the name and telephone number of the official.
If you own a mobile home, travel trailer, or own your home via heirship and don’t have traditional documentations, you may self-certify ownership along with one of the following documents:
Copy of Title or Deed
Death Certificate and Will
Affidavit of Heirship; only when consistent with state or tribal government law
Will or testament naming the applicant as heir to the property
Bill of Sale or Bond for Title
Tax payment in the deceased owner’s name
Court appointment of an administrator to the estate
Documents must be dated within one year of the disaster. If you received FEMA assistance for the same address from a previous disaster, you only need to verify ownership once.
To verify occupancy, homeowners and renters may provide any of these documents:
Utility bill, bank or credit-card statement, or phone bill
Written lease agreement
Public official’s statement
Motor vehicle registration
Letter from local school, federal or state benefit provider, or social service organization
Signed statement from a commercial or mobile home park owner
Self-certification for a mobile home or travel trailer
- Tip 4: Include your application number on every page of the documents you submit.
- Tip 5: Can’t write the appeal yourself? Authorize someone to write it for you.
To learn more, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA your number for that service when you call.
- Tip 6: Don’t forget to sign your appeal letter.
- Tip 7: There are three ways to submit your appeal:
Mail to: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
Upload to your DisasterAssistance.gov account
- Tip 8: Expect a decision letter from FEMA within 90 days.
FEMA is committed to ensuring disaster assistance is accomplished equitably, without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. Any disaster survivor or member of the public may contact the FEMA Civil Rights Office if they feel that they are the victim of discrimination. FEMA’s Civil Rights Office can be contacted at 833-285-7448. Multilingual operators are available.
For the latest information on Vermont’s recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4720. Follow the FEMA Region 1 account on Twitter at twitter.com/FEMARegion1, the FEMA Facebook page at facebook.com/FEMA, or Vermont Emergency Management on Twitter at twitter.com/vemvt and on Facebook at facebook.com/VermontEmergencyManagement.