FEMA extends flood claim continuation, appeal deadlines
More than 400 Superstorm victims, who missed the July 31 deadline for contacting FEMA to continue flood insurance claims, get extra time - and so does anyone who missed the August 1 deadline to schedule claim appeals.
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sent word that the Federal Emergency Management Agency assured him of the extensions Tuesday. The FEMA notification deadline advances to September 15, and the deadline for scheduling appeals with the third-party neutral extends to October 25. FEMA also committed to a month-by-monty re-evaluaiton, Menendez said.
Sandy survivors who were underpaid loosened the purse strings on another $250,000,000, Menendez said, but FEMA has another $7,000,000 unclaimed by the 415 storm victims in New Jersey who lost or dropped contact with the agency, he said.
The Democrat pledged to keep the pressure on the claims review process until every Superstorm victim is addressed, but added that it means little without the cooperation of every claimant.."
"I would remind anyone in the Sandy Claims Review, that you cannot receive additional flood insurance money until you complete the process," Menendez said in prepared remarks.
"FEMA has awarded millions of dollars that could help you rebuild your home and your lives. They are trying to reach you, so they can get you what you are rightfully entitled. Don't leave money on the table. FEMA has assured me that all you have to do is call to let them know that you want to complete the review. If you are having any problems or are experiencing delays, please don't hesitate to reach out to my office for help."
The third-party appeal process has resulted, so far, in $15,000,000 of additional payouts beyond the claim reviews, said Menendez, who argued for the option that gives property owners an evaluation detached from FEMA.
The extensions and additions sprang from revelations of lowballing of flood insurance claims uncovered by Menendez and his Sandy Task Force co-chairs, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
The discoveries also led to the reopening of all Sandy flood insurance claims, and fed proposed reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program that have support from Democrats and Republicans.