Understanding your FEMA letter


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ohio residents who applied for FEMA assistance for the March 14 tornadoes will receive a letter from FEMA. The letter will explain your application status and how to respond. It is important to read the letter carefully because it will include the amount of any assistance FEMA may provide or documents FEMA may still need from you.


If you have turned in all required information and are eligible for a FEMA grant, the letter will tell you the dollar amount of your grant and how the funds should be used. These grants are for repairs, temporary housing and other approved essential disaster-related costs.

Status: Currently not Eligible

If the letter says your application is currently not eligible, it will tell you why or what FEMA still needs to know. It also tells you how to appeal the decision if you disagree.

You may need to submit additional information or supporting documents for FEMA to continue to process your application. Examples of missing documents may include:

Proof of insurance coverage

Settlement of insurance claims or denial letter from insurance provider. Note: If a decision on your insurance settlement has been delayed longer than 30 days from the time you filed the claim, you may be eligible for an insurance advance payment from FEMA. These funds are considered a loan and must be repaid to FEMA once you receive your settlement from your insurance company.

Proof of identity

Proof of occupancy or ownership

Proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster

If you have questions about your letter, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to find out what information FEMA needs.

How to Appeal

If you disagree with FEMA’s decision, you may appeal. It must be submitted within 60 days of the date of the decision letter.

Your FEMA letter will provide additional information on the types of documents or information that will need to be provided if you choose to appeal FEMA’s initial decision.

The documents apply specifically to the decision made. For example, if you are appealing for additional assistance to help repair your home, you will want to provide FEMA with any receipts, bills or repair estimates received for the repairs needed to your home as a result of the disaster.

With your decision letter, FEMA will also provide an Appeal Request Form that may be used to help provide additional information, if you choose to do so.

Your appeal may be submitted to FEMA by fax or mail, in-person at a Disaster Recovery Center or online if you have a FEMA online account. To set up a FEMA online account, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, click on “Apply Online” 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

In-person: Visit any Disaster Recovery Center to submit your appeal, receive updates about your FEMA application or answers to your questions. Find a center here: fema.gov/DRC

If you have questions about how to appeal, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

For even more information about the disaster recovery operation in Ohio, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4777. The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is July 1, 2024.

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