LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Calcasieu Parish residents who were affected by Hurricane Laura have registered and gotten denied for hurricane relief assistance by FEMA, but there are more steps they can take to make sure they get the assistance they need.
“When you get that determination letter in the mail it’s gonna say why if you’ve been deemed ineligible, sometimes it can really be a simple reason why,” said Lenisha Smith, FEMA public affairs assistant .
Some of the reasons Lake Charles residents are having trouble getting assistance include mistakenly writing down the wrong information on applications, already having home owner’s insurance and missing a key document.
Even though residents are getting denied in the beginning stages of the process, there are still some ways to keep it going.
“I want to encourage people not to get discouraged when they get that determination letter," Smith said. "Stay in contact with FEMA. There’s three ways you can stay in contact with us you can call the FEMA help line number - 1800-621-3362 - you can download the FEMA app or you can visit disasterassistance.gov.”
The process of getting FEMA assistance can be stressful, but it is important that residents keep track of all their records and receipts. Having those could be the difference between getting the correct amount of assistance funds or not getting any at all.
“You want to make sure that you’re keeping your receipts for those as well,” Smith said. “Keeping those documents and using those funds for what they are allotted for.”
When victims get an estimate from their adjuster, but still want to utilize FEMA assistance funds, they can appeal for more from FEMA if they don’t get the correct amount.