South Florida

Didn’t get FEMA money after Irma? Here’s how to get it

Damaged property litters the side of Overseas Highway in Big Pine Key following Hurricane Irma on Sept. 19, 2017.
Damaged property litters the side of Overseas Highway in Big Pine Key following Hurricane Irma on Sept. 19, 2017.

Did you apply for FEMA assistance after Hurricane Irma? Were you told you were ineligible?

Turns out, the only thing that may be standing between you and your FEMA aid is missing documentation, officials say.

“You may just need to submit extra documents for FEMA to process your application,” the agency said in an email.

Examples of missing paperwork may include an insurance settlement letter, proof of residence, proof of ownership of the damaged property, and proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.

In order to have FEMA revisit your case, you would need to file an appeal in writing within 60 days of receipt of the letter determining eligibility.

To find out if you are missing documents, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.

If you are missing documentation, you may submit it online, by mail or fax, or in person at a disaster recovery center.


You will get a written response from FEMA regarding the agency’s decision within 90 days of the receipt of your letter. FEMA’s decision is final and cannot be appealed again.

Mail your appeal to:

Individuals & Households Program

National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

Or you may fax it to:


Attention: FEMA – Individuals & Households Program

In your appeal, include the following:

  • Your full name
  • The address of your damaged property
  • Current contact information
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Your birthdate and place of birth
  • Your nine-digit FEMA registration number on each page and on supporting documentation
  • Notarization of your letter including a copy of a state issued identification card, or include the following statement, “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”
  • Your signature

For more information, you can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability, call 800-462-7585. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

Documents you may be missing:

FEMA’s letter may refer to:

What you can do to appeal if you disagree:

Ownership not proven

Submit one of the following:

  • Title or deed
  • Tax assessment documentation
  • Mortgage payment letter
  • Other documents proving ownership of the home

No contact for an inspection

Call the FEMA Helpline and provide your current phone number and the best time to reach you.

Failed identity verification

Submit documents to verify your name and Social Security number:

  • Medicare forms
  • Current payroll check stub
  • U.S. Passport
  • Valid Driver’s License

Linked for duplicate review

Submit documents proving you were not living with or assisted by another person who applied for assistance at your address.

Ineligible insured

To prove you are uninsured or underinsured for damage, submit one of the following:

  • Insurance settlement documents
  • A denial letter
  • Any other supporting information