"No" doesn't have to mean "No" when it comes to decisions by FEMA regarding disaster assistance.

The federal agency wants residents to know they are able to appeal any decision based on the amount or type of disaster assistance.

FEMA asks before asking for an appeal, to review the "Help After a Disaster" applicant's guide. It explains the different types of assistance that may be available to survivors and could answer some questions you have about the appeal process.

According to FEMA:

"When appealing, explain in writing why you disagree with a decision. Include any new or additional documents that would support the appeal. Be as specific as possible in the letter. Include materials such as itemized receipts and contractor estimates.

When sending an appeal letter for Hurricane Sandy, remember to include:

On all pages of all documents:

  • Federal disaster declaration number 4086-DR-NJ.
  • Nine-digit FEMA application number.
  • Applicant's name, place and date of birth, and the address of the damaged dwelling.
  • Copies of documentation that supports the appeal. All receipts, bills and estimates must include contact information for the service provider. Keep all originals for your records.
  • A copy of a state-issued identification card, unless the letter is notarized or includes the following statement: "I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct."
  • The applicant's signature.

Appeal letters must be postmarked within 60 days of the date on the decision letter."

The appeal letter may be sent to FEMA through FAX at (800) 827-8112 Attention:FEMA or by mail.

National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055 , Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

If you would like to speak with a specialist who will listen and help you with the appeal process, you can visit a local Disaster Recovery Center or call the FEMA helpline.