FEMA Outlines Next Steps For Disaster Assistance For CNMI Residents


The following information is for those who have applied for FEMA assistance as a result of Typhoon Soudelor.

(FEMA) – FEMA housing inspectors have been assessing damaged homes of applicants who registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for damage sustained in Typhoon Soudelor.

Once the inspection process is complete, your case will be reviewed by FEMA and you will receive a letter, or email if you signed up for E-Correspondence, outlining the decision:

• If you qualify for a FEMA grant, FEMA will send you a check by mail or deposit it directly into your bank account. You will also receive a letter describing how you are to use the money. You should only use the money given to you as explained in the letter and we suggest that you save receipts on how you spent the money.

• If you do not qualify for a FEMA grant, you will receive a letter explaining why you were ineligible and will be given clear information on how to appeal the decision*. Your appeal rights will be described in this letter. Appeals must be in writing and mailed within 60 days of FEMA’s decision.

• If you are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), you will receive an SBA application from SBA. The application must be completed and returned in order to be considered for a loan or for additional FEMA grant assistance. SBA representatives are available to help you with the application at local Disaster Recovery Center, at Pedro P Tenorio Multipurpose Center in Susupe. Normal hours of operation are Monday-Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Completing and returning the loan application does not mean that you must accept the loan.

*An appeal is a written request to review your file again with additional information you provide that may affect the decision. You may appeal any decision provided by FEMA regarding your Individual Assistance. Appeals may relate to your initial eligibility decisions, the amount or type of assistance provided to you, late applications, requests to return money, or a denial of Continued Temporary Housing Assistance. Prior to requesting an appeal review, you should review your file with a FEMA helpline agent at 1-800- 621-3362 (FEMA), or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585, or request a copy of your file from FEMA so you can understand why you received the decision you want to appeal.

Follow these steps to appeal the decision.

1. Explain in writing why you think the decision about the amount or type of assistance you received is not correct. You, or someone who represents you or your household, should sign the NEXT STEPS AFTER RECEIVING A DETERMINATION LETTER-Page 2 letter and have it notarized. If the person writing the letter is not a member of your household, there must be a signed statement saying that that person may act for you.

2. Include the FEMA registration number and disaster number (shown at the top of your decision letter) in your letter of appeal. You should also include the last four digits of your social security number, your full name, your address, and your date and place of birth.

3. You may also want to include a copy of a government-issued identification card or include the following statement “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct”.

4. If you have supporting documentation for your appeal, include that in your correspondence to FEMA.

5. Mail your appeal letter to: FEMA – Individuals & Households Program National Processing Service Center P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055 or you can fax you appeal letter to: (800) 827-8112 Attention: FEMA – Individuals & Households Program.

IMPORTANT: To be considered, your appeal letter must be postmarked within 60 days of the date of the decision letter’s date. Remember to date your letters.

• All appeals are reviewed.

• Decisions usually are made within 30 days of receiving the request.

• Additional information may be requested from you if FEMA does not have enough information to make a decision.

• You will be notified by mail of the response to your appeal.

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. The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disasterdamaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339.