United Way assists community with FEMA appeals

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - United Way of Southwest Louisiana is partnering with the Saint Bernard Project and the City of Lake Charles to help affected community members with the FEMA appeal process.

United Way will offer a free webinar and in-person clinic for those needing assistance.

On average, it can take several appeals before a person will receive money from FEMA. United Way is hoping to expedite the process.

“As we were doing the case work, it became apparently clear that so many people are either struggling with the appeal process or that they are applying and getting that initial denial and moving on,” said President and CEO of United Way of SWLA, Denise Durel.

Teaming with the Saint Bernard Project, United Way will offer a webinar for the public to answer questions about making an appeal to FEMA.

“We’ve got an expert from SBP joining us, who will be taking us through a series of question and answers regarding FEMA appeals,” Durel said.

As a follow up, an in-person clinic will be held to offer further professional assistance with addressing their case and guidance for their next steps. Both events are free, but registration is required.

“United Way and SBP volunteers will work with them one-on-one to hopefully transition them through the appeal process, so at the end of the day, we can bring more money to area residents,” Durel said.

Those planning to attend the in-person clinic will need to bring all documentation relating to FEMA.

“We are going to try to do as much as we can right there on the spot with that individual case and to submit those appeals and information directly to FEMA,” Durel said.

Transportation is being offered, but at a very limited basis.

“They can call 211, and just tell the 211, the United Way specialist there, that they need transportation to the FEMA clinic, and we will work on that to see if we can get them individual transportation,” Durel said.

The FEMA Appeals Webinar requires registration and will take place on Tuesday, April 20 at 5 p.m. To register, visit unitedwayswla.org/femawebinar.

The FEMA Appeals Clinic will take place on Wednesday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center, and registration is required. Following registration, you will be given an appointment time. The schedule will be made on a first-come, first-served basis and appointments are limited. Register at unitedwayswla.org/femaclinic.

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