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Tips for FEMA applications

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The following responses are from an interview with FEMA Media Relations Specialist Craig Browning. Browning discussed some of the most frequently asked questions regarding FEMA applications in response to Hurricane Ida.

The first step in qualifying for FEMA assistance is to register

“The starting point is to register for assistance if you’re in one of the 25 affected parishes. That is by either calling 1-800-621-3362, using the FEMA app on a smartphone or going to disasterassistance.gov,” said Browning.

For those who are still living in a shelter and are unable to return home to assess property damage, still contact FEMA and start the process.

Browning also mentioned the importance of keeping receipts and taking pictures of damaged as well as repaired property.

“It is critically important with federal aid that you keep any receipts that pertain to the recovery efforts that you are having to endure. In the event that you receive federal funds, you have to account for that and be able to provide receipts and be able to provide receipts for where you spent that money, and it’s very important that you keep those because you can be audited,” said Browning. “It’s also important to take pictures before and after. You take a picture before you make a repair to it, and take a picture after you make repairs to it.”

If an applicant’s initial application is denied, reapply with the additional information that the denial letter will identify.

“A lot of that (denial letters) comes from the need for more information, insurance companies are backed up, and so a majority of the time, not every time, but a majority of the time it has something to do with insurance or not enough paperwork, not enough information that was supplied on the initial application. So, if you receive that denial letter, don’t give up hope. Read that entire letter in its entirety because it will explicitly tell you what we need,” said Browning.

Browning also stated that the time frame it takes to process an application varies on a case-by-case basis.

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