South Carolina Flood Survivors Get Second Chance at FEMA Aid
Thousands of homeowners who survived the South Carolina floods and were deemed ineligible for federal disaster aid are getting a second chance at financial help according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA recently reported that they have been searching their database and taking another look at over 97,000 applications that range across the entire state since the massive flooding that occurred on October 4th.
The search team is looking for flood survivors who were originally deemed not eligible for aid from FEMA. They are also looking for victims that could potentially become eligible for financial aid. Small issues like missing paperwork are examples of where FEMA is hoping to resolve the conflict and get the applicant eligible for federal aid.
According to a FEMA spokesperson, over $4.1 million in disaster aid has been handed out to over 1,800 applicants who were formally deemed ineligible. This is not the first time that FEMA has reopened cases in areas that were particularly hard hit. Mississippi, North Carolina and Florida have all been beneficiaries of extended deadlines and second chances.
While roughly $77.4 million has been approved for aid in South Carolina, less than 30 percent of FEMA applicants have received aid. According to FEMA officials, there are a number of reasons that applicants can be turned down for aid. A few of the more common reasons that an applicant is deemed ineligible is due to not being able to verify occupancy or ownership, missing documents or information or the lack of flood insurance.
While FEMA is taking a look at certain applications a second time, some cases are pretty clear-cut and will not be re-considered. Second homes are not available for federal aid, either are homes that have not sustained sufficient damage.
“Our goal is to make sure all of the applicants get all that they are eligible for,” FEMA spokesperson Carl Henderson said in a recent interview.
FEMA is also working with local volunteer organizations to connect flood affected residents that have other immediate needs. As an example, a resident that has a damaged roof may be hooked up with an organization that can help them get a tarp on the roof to prevent further damage to the home.
“If we can’t help them with FEMA assistance, at least we try to point them in the right direction with volunteer organizations who could help,” said Henderson in a recent article in the State.com.
Applicants for FEMA aid do not need to take any addition action to become eligible. FEMA will be in touch if your application is reviewed and found to be eligible for aid. FEMA is encouraging all applicants to appeal any denial letters that they receive. The current deadline to apply for federal disaster assistance is January 3rd at midnight and applicants have 60 days to appeal a denial letter.