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How to appeal your FEMA flooding assistance rejection

If you're a St. Clair County resident and FEMA deemed you ineligible for disaster relief, your chances of accessing federal relief funding are not over.

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. — If you applied for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance after July flooding and were deemed ineligible, your chances of accessing federal disaster relief funding are not over.

According to FEMA, St. Clair County, Illinois, residents who received a letter saying they were ineligible after applying for assistance or those who disagree with the amount of funding awarded have 60 days to file an appeal.

The letter will explain what you can do to become eligible.

For most applicants deemed ineligible, you'll just be asked to send in more information. Sometimes FEMA needs documents that weren't included in the application, such as proof of insurance, identity, occupancy, ownership or primary residency.

Appeals, along with supporting documentation and a copy of your FEMA determination letter, can be submitted online, via fax (800-827-8112, Attention: FEMA) or via mail to FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782.

Unfortunately, if you haven't yet filed a claim for disaster assistance in Illinois, you are no longer able to. The last day to apply was Dec. 22.

According to a press release from FEMA Wednesday, the agency may consider a late application if extraordinary circumstances kept you from applying before the December deadline. In rare cases, you may be able to submit a late application. 

Eligibility for late application:

  • A signed letter of explanation; AND 
  • Supporting documentation that clearly confirms why you were unable to apply during the application period. These include: 
  • Record of hospitalization, illness, disability of the applicant or an immediate family member;
  • Death of an immediate family member; 
  • Proof of personal or business travel that kept the applicant out of the area for the full application period; 
  • Evidence of unique disaster-specific circumstances. 

You have 60 days from Dec. 22, 2022, which was the FEMA application deadline, to complete a late application, according to the release. There are several ways you can submit a late application for FEMA disaster assistance: 

  • Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov 
  • Download and use the FEMA mobile app to apply 
  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to apply
  • If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service. The Helpline is open seven days a week, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. Press two for Spanish or three for an interpreter who speaks your language 

For more information about submitting late applications and to find out what non-federal assistance is available, click here

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