APPEALING FEMA’s Denial of Continued Rental Assistance If FEMA has stopped giving you rental assistance, you can ask FEMA to reconsider your its decision through an appeal letter. This appeal letter should also request reimbursement for the months you did not receive assistance. In the appeal letter, you should state why you need further rental assistance. If you are requesting reimbursement for the months that you did not receive rental assistance, you also should state what months FEMA missed and how much you paid in rent during those months. Attached is a sample appeal letter that you can refer to as you draft your own letter or simply fill out and send to directly to FEMA. Feel free to make changes given your particular situation. The letter asks FEMA to reinstate your rental assistance, and also requests that FEMA to reimburse you for the months of assistance that you missed. Note that Section 3 of the letter has been left blank for you to include more information about your specific situation. When writing to FEMA, remember: • • Any letter you send to FEMA must contain your FEMA ID number; You should enclose copies (NOT originals) of any documents you think are important to your appeal such as receipts, leases, or anything else related to the reasons why you should continue to receive rental assistance; If you enclose copies of cancelled checks to your landlord, please be sure to copy both sides of the check; If you are applying for reimbursement, FEMA will probably ask for rent receipts for the months you did not get paid; Other helpful documents are leases, receipts from your landlord, cancelled rent checks, and hotel bills. • • • We recommend that you fax (if possible) and ALSO mail the letter and documents to FEMA by certified mail. Keep a copy of the appeal letter for your own records. Here is FEMA’s mailing address: FEMA Appeals Officer National Processing Center P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055. Fax to 1-800-827-8112, Att’n: FEMA Rental Assistance. If you do not hear back from FEMA within two weeks of sending the letter, call FEMA to check the status of your appeal. It is a good idea to contact FEMA on a regular basis to check on status of your appeal. Phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA. Please note:This letter was not written by an attorney and the contents of this letter do not qualify as legal advice. To get legal advice on these or any other matters, please contact a licensed attorney. Date:_______________ FEMA Appeals Officer National Processing Center P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055 Re: Appeal of _______________________________________(name) FEMA Application No: ____________________________ To whom it may concern: FEMA has written to me, denying rental assistance. I am formally appealing FEMA’s decision that I am ineligible for rental assistance. I have used FEMA assistance funds for legitimate purposes and continue to need rental assistance. It is my position that FEMA’s current position in this matter is incorrect. It is also my position that I should be allowed to receive continued rental assistance. I would like reimbursement for the months of ______________, 200_ through ______________, 200__. During that period I paid $_______________ in rent. Evidence of rent paid is attached I also request a complete copy of my file. This request includes copies of any and all documents in any way related me, such as those showing the basis for the denial of rental assistance. I appeal for the following reasons: 1) I continue to need rental assistance and meet the eligibility requirements established in 44 C.F.R. § 216.114. Hardships have made finding an affordable, suitably located home extraordinarily difficult. I assert my right to continued rental assistance until I have received written notice for each of the following: 1) The reason I am being denied; 2) An opportunity for a hearing; 3) And a decision on my appeal. 2) FEMA has not given me a full and timely explanation for its actions and requests and has therefore violated my constitutional due process rights. FEMA has recently been sued for its neglect of basic rights in ACORN v. FEMA, 63 F. Supp.2d 26 (D.D.C. 2006). Accordingly, this appeal must be considered and acted upon in light of that decision. I assert my right to due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. I request that I be granted a hearing to defend myself and have an opportunity to confront my accusers and respond to any evidence against me. The Please note:This letter was not written by an attorney and the contents of this letter do not qualify as legal advice. To get legal advice on these or any other matters, please contact a licensed attorney. current appeals process (6 C.F.R. 11.1 et seq., 44 C.F.R. 11.1. and 44 C.F.R. 206.116(b)) used by FEMA for rental assistance claims is constitutionally inadequate and unfair. The process is insufficient and does not give me a fair opportunity to defend myself against the claim. See Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254, 267-68 (1970). Accordingly, I request that rental assistance resume until I receive a detailed explanation for the termination and an opportunity for a hearing. 3) I am also in need of continued rental assistance for the following reasons: REQUEST FOR OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPLEMENT THE ARGUMENT I have received only minimal reasons for FEMA’s decision in my case. Through this appeal, I request a copy of the complete records on which FEMA determined that I am ineligible for further rental assistance. I should be allowed the opportunity to respond to any evidence and allegations that come to light. Please note:This letter was not written by an attorney and the contents of this letter do not qualify as legal advice. To get legal advice on these or any other matters, please contact a licensed attorney. CONCLUSION In conclusion, I am in dire need of assistance from FEMA, and I formally request that my case be reviewed accordingly. I reserve my right to supplement or add to this appeal. Sincerely, ________________________(signature) ________________________(print name) Address: Enclosure(s) Please note:This letter was not written by an attorney and the contents of this letter do not qualify as legal advice. To get legal advice on these or any other matters, please contact a licensed attorney.