FEMA Recoupment: What does it mean when you are asked by FEMA to pay money back?

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To try to meet immediate needs following a disaster, FEMA provides disaster assistance as fast as possible to the survivors of the natural disaster. Later, however, as FEMA reviews cases, they sometimes determine that people received an incorrect amount of money or that they were not eligible to receive money in the first place. For instance, FEMA may provide money to cover a home repair, but, ultimately, insurance covered the same expense. Recoupment occurs when FEMA takes action to recollect money they earlier provided to a person for disaster relief. Individuals will be notified of this through a Notice of Debt Letter that will come from FEMA.

If you receive a Notice of Debt letter, Legal Aid can discuss options about how to proceed and may be able to help you file an appeal with FEMA. We encourage survivors or Florence to contact Legal Aid’s helpline at 866-219-5262 to learn if you qualify for Legal Aid’s services. 

Additional Resources:

FEMA Recoupment: What it means when FEMA asks for disaster relief money back

Accessing recovery funds: Duplication of Benefits and FEMA Recoupment

Legal Aid NC flyer about recoupment

FEMA Recoupment