Announcement with link

2022 Oklahoma Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding

DR-4657-OK

*FEMA application deadline has been extended to September 28th, 2022.

*New Information for this Disaster (added 8.5.22): Disagree with FEMA, File an Appeal

In May of 2022, Oklahomans applied for federal disaster assistance through FEMA. Many of those individuals and families are still struggling to recover today, and now with added pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you were impacted by the May 2022 storms, you may have disaster related civil legal issues. Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma provides free civil legal services to eligible disaster survivors. More information can be given through the LASO Disaster Hotline or by applying online.

Legal Aid Disaster Hotline: 888-602-8494

LEGAL AID ASSISTS WITH:
  • FEMA Appeals and Recoupments
  • Titles and Proof of Ownership Issues
  • Foreclosure Prevention
  • Eviction
  • Family Law
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Disability Applications
  • Insurance Claims and Coverage
  • Contractor Fraud

*For more information on the topics listed above, click here.

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. (LASO) maintains a legal
services unit devoted to providing free civil legal services to those
experiencing civil legal issues due to the storms. These
services are free to income eligible survivors.

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.
3800 North Classen Blvd, Suite 230
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

Disagree with FEMA, File an Appeal

Oklahoma residents who don’t agree with FEMA’s assistance decision can submit an appeal and have their case reconsidered. Follow these steps to file a successful appeal. 

To make a successful appeal it is important to write a letter explaining why you disagree with FEMA’s decision and to include documentation that supports your claim.

Anyone who would like to speak with a FEMA specialist directly about how to file an appeal can always call the FEMA Helpline at800-621-3362.If you use a video relay service, captioned telephone service, or other communication services, please provide FEMA the specific number assigned for that service.Lines are open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week.

Oklahoma residents may also visit any Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) for assistance. To locate the closest DRC to you, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov, download the FEMA app or visit the DRC Locator. You can also text 43362 and type DRC (your ZIP Code); for example, DRC 12345.  

Here are some tips to help you file a successful appeal:

1. Understand why FEMA deemed your claim ineligible before writing the appeal.

  • You may not agree with it but analyze why FEMA determined your application was ineligible. It could be as simple as a missing document, which you can submit with your appeal. Read FEMA’s letter from beginning to end to completely understand what the agency needs from you.

2. Make sure you provide evidence for your appeal. Documentation, depending on your situation, may include:

  • Copy of flood insurance declaration page.

For proof of occupancy, FEMA accepts an employer statement, lease, utility bill (electric, water/sewer, etc.), bank or credit card statement, phone bill, cable/satellite bill, driver’s license, state-issued identification card, motor vehicle registrations, letters from local schools (public or private), documents from federal or state benefit providers, social service organizations (such as community assistance programs and non-profits), or court documents. Utility bills and/or statements such as pay stubs, lease, bank statements and/or driver’s license can be dated within one year prior to disaster or within the 18-month period of assistance.

  • To prove ownership, include your mortgage or insurance documents, mortgage payment booklet, tax receipts or a deed. If your documents were lost or destroyed, contact financial, insurance and/or government agencies in your area to see if you can get a replacement. The following website also offers guidance on replacing lost documents: http://www.usa.gov/replace-vital-documents.
  • Survivors living in mobile homes or travel trailers can include a signed statement from a commercial or mobile home park owner.
  • For homes that have been passed down over the generations without any traditional ownership verification, you may include a public official’s letter or receipts for major repairs or improvements to verify ownership.
  • As a last resort, and only after all other options have been exhausted, FEMA may accept a written document in which you declare yourself the owner of property. The letter does not need to be notarized, but it must match the information on your FEMA application.  

3. Can’t write the appeal yourself? Have someone write it for you.

  • If you are the applicant and are unable to write an appeal letter yourself, ask someone to write it for you. Consider asking a family member, friend or a lawyer.
  • Residents may also get help with appeals from free legal disaster assistance by calling the Legal Aid Disaster hotline at 888-602-8494, the Oklahoma Indian Legal Services at 800-658-1497 or online at oklahomadisasterlegalhelp.org

4. Know your deadline.

  • You have 60 days from the date of your FEMA determination letter to appeal. Circle the deadline on your calendar or write yourself a note to keep the date in the forefront. Once FEMA reviews your letter, you may receive a phone call or a follow-up letter asking for more documentation.

5. Don’t forget to sign your appeal letter. Once signed, there are three ways to submit your appeal:

  • Fax it to 800-827-8112
  • Send it by mail to FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
  • Upload documents to your disasterassistance.gov account.

6. Include your application number on every page of the documents you submit.

7. Expect a decision letter to your appeal within 90 days.

For the latest information on the Oklahoma severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, visit fema.gov/disaster/4657. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6/.

Important Updates

Disaster Recovery Centers to Close on Labor Day

OKLAHOMA CITY—The joint federal/state Disaster Recovery Centers in Muskogee and Seminole counties will close on Monday, Sept. 5 in honor of Labor Day. The centers will reopen at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Survivors can get in-person assistance with their disaster assistance applications, upload documents and get questions answered about federal disaster at:

Muskogee County

Harris-Jobe School

2809 N. Country Club Road

Muskogee, OK 74403

Hours:

Monday–Friday | 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (Closed Monday, Sept. 5)

Saturday–Sunday | Closed

 

Seminole County

Seminole State College David L. Boren Library

Room 105

2701 Boren Boulevard

Seminole. OK 74868

Hours:

Monday–Friday | 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (Closed Monday, Sept. 5)

Saturday–Sunday | Closed

 

Download the FEMA mobile app at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/mobile-products for more information about DRCs.

For the latest information, visit fema.gov/disaster/4657. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6.