FEMA Says You’re Ineligible for Disaster Assistance? Do This.

There has been quite a bit of bad information running around about what to do if you receive a determination letter from FEMA indicating that you are “ineligible for disaster assistance. As a result, we thought we would publish some information that comes straight from the experts…..FEMA and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Here is what they had to say in a recent news release:

July 19, 2019
DR-4447-OH FS-002
FEMA News Desk: 614-220-7242
Ohio Emergency Management Agency News Desk: 614-799-3695

Fact Sheet

Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter

Q: My FEMA determination letter says my application for disaster assistance is “ineligible” or

“incomplete.” What can I do?


A: All disaster assistance applicants have the right to appeal, and sometimes a quick fix is all that is needed to change a “no” to a “yes.” Read your letter all the way through to clarify why your application was labeled “ineligible” or “incomplete.” Always be sure to follow up—do not just give up—with the determination letter.


Q: I want to appeal my determination letter. How can I do that?


A: All appeals must be in writing. When writing your appeal, explain why you think the decision about the amount or type of assistance you received is not correct. You, or someone who represents you or your household, must sign the letter. If the person writing the letter is not a member of your household, there must be a signed statement from you explaining that the person may act on behalf of you and your household.


Q: What do I do with my written appeal and my other appeal documents?


A: Bring your determination letter, your written appeal and the supporting documents requested in your determination letter to any disaster recovery center. Disaster recovery center locations are available www.fema.gov/disaster/4413 or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).


Q: I cannot make it to a disaster recovery center. Can I still appeal my determination letter?


A: Yes. You can mail your written appeal and all supporting documents to:


FEMA – Individuals and Households Program

National Processing Service Center

P.O. Box 10055

Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055





Page 2, Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter


You can also fax your appeal packet to 800-827-8112, Attention: Individuals and Households Program. When mailing or faxing your appeal packet, be sure to include your personal FEMA registration number and the disaster number, DR-4413-AK, on all your documents.


Q: Can I email my appeal packet to FEMA?


A: No. FEMA cannot process your appeal via email, but you can submit it on our website. If you would like to go through the appeal process electronically, you can open a disaster assistance center account at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Once the account is created, you can update your current contact information, upload your appeal documents and review letters from FEMA. When you upload the required documents to your account, an appeal packet is automatically created which can then be submitted for review.





What Goes into Your Credit Score?

The City of Trotwood and The HomeOwnership Center Aim for Impact in Trotwood

The City of Trotwood partnered with the HomeOwnership Center to bring homeownership and financial counseling services to Trotwood! That’s right, clients of the HomeOwnership Center and the CCCS can make appointments and receive counseling and other services in Trotwood.

Thanks to an initiative spearheaded by Mayor Mary A. Mc Donald, the city made available the necessary office space in the Trotwood Community and Cultural Arts Center located at 4000 Lake Center Drive, Trotwood, OH 45426. The HomeOwnership Center will provide homeownership and personal finance counselors on Tuesday afternoons. Clients can book appointments with the staff members for counseling on subjects like homebuying, credit counseling, debt management, and more.

Would you like to book an appointment?  Call 938.853.1600.

What Could a DMP Do for You #1

While not the perfect solution to all financial problems, a DMP or Debt Management Program can be a real lifeline for consumers that are drowning in debt and struggling to make the minimum payments on their monthly bills. That’s certainly true for this month’s example family. Not all debt can be included in a DMP. For instance, secured debts like homes and cars can’t be covered. However, credit card debts and some other unsecured debts do qualify.

This example is from an actual client that just started our DMP program this past month.


Here is a picture of their current situation:

Total unsecured debt covered by the DMP: $38,000

Monthly payment without DMP: $2,859


Now, let’s look at their situation while on the DMP program:

Monthly payment on the DMP: $1,273

Monthly Savings on the DMP: $1,586

All unsecured debts covered by the DMP will be paid off in 5 Years


Want to Learn More?

As we said earlier, a DMP is not for everyone, but it just might be for you. You can learn more by calling 937.853.1600 or by visiting our DMP page.

1 in 4 Americans Don’t Have $400 in Emergency Savings

According to a 2018 Federal Reserve study, 1 in 4 Americans don’t have $400 in emergency savings. That means if they had an unexpected expense such as a medical emergency or car repair, they would have to turn to debt to cover the cost. The additional debt just leads to more financial instability as struggling families must find ways to make the additional payments. You can see how all of this becomes a vicious cycle.

You must have an emergency savings account!

Your financial stability depends on having an emergency savings fund. It doesn’t have to be massive. Start small and let it grow over time. Your first savings goal should be $1000. With just $1000, you can cover many car repairs and can handle an urgent care visit… all without needing to borrow money or turning to high interest credit cards.

Grow your savings over time.

Once you’ve established your emergency savings account, keep adding to it until you have 3 to 6 months of expenses saved up. At that level, you can weather a short loss of income like a lay off at work or a hospital stay.

If it’s not an emergency, don’t touch the money.

Seriously! It’s called Emergency Savings for a reason. Repairing your car so that you can commute to work is an emergency. Paying for medical expenses is an emergency. Buying a new flat screen TV is not an emergency, even if your only TV fell off the wall and shattered. Basically, if the expense doesn’t help you get to work and pay the bills, keep you and your family healthy, put food on the table, pay the utilities, keep a roof over your head, or meet any other fundamental requirement to live, it’s not an emergency.

If you use it, pay it back!

If you do need to dip into your emergency savings account, pay it back as quickly as you can. You’ll need that money soon enough. Life has a way of happening just when we expect it least and your emergency savings fund helps to smooth out those bumps in the road.