Why and How to Appeal FEMA

Why would I need to appeal? Some Mississippians who applied for FEMA disaster assistance have gotten a determination letter they don’t agree with. If you disagree with FEMA’s decision, you can appeal. Every survivor has the right to appeal. By appealing, you are asking FEMA to review your case. If you think FEMA’s decision on the amount of assistance, or the type of assistance, is wrong, submit an appeal letter and any documents needed to support your claim.

Does my appeal letter need to be well-written? No. Simply state specifically what you are appealing (refer to your determination letter), why you disagree, and list the documents that support your argument.

What documents are needed for my appeal? Any documents that show why you think FEMA was wrong. Documents often needed for appeals are:

  • Contractor estimates
  • Insurance settlement letters
  • Auto-mechanic statements
  • Papers showing  where you lived
  • Documents showing you own your home

Is there a deadline for appeal? You have 60 days from the date of your determination letter to send FEMA your appeal. To file an appeal, letters and documentation must be postmarked or received by fax within 60 days of the date on the FEMA determination letter.

What happens next? The processing of your appeal may take time. Keep in mind that after FEMA receives your letter, you may receive a phone call or a follow-up letter asking for more information.

For the latest information on recovery from Mississippi tornadoes, visit March 24 2023 Severe Weather Disaster Information – MEMA (msema.org) and www.fema.gov/disaster/4697. On Twitter follow MEMA @MSEMA and FEMA Region 4 @femaregion4).



FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call the FEMA Civil Rights Resource Line toll-free at 833-285-7448. Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish). If you use a Video Relay Service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.