COLUMBIA (PRESS RELEASE) –
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Saturday, Oct. 29) — Following initial application review by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), South Carolina survivors who have applied for disaster assistance will receive a “letter of eligibility.” Applicants may be told they are eligible for disaster assistance or that they have been determined ineligible.
If you are eligible, the letter explains the amount of your grant and how it is to be used. If the letter says you are ineligible, the grant amount reads “0”, but in many cases that is not the last word.
FEMA officials in South Carolina report that the most common reasons for denial of assistance in Hurricane Matthew are:
Insufficient storm-related damage to affect the habitability of the damaged home. FEMA will provide assistance to assure your home is habitable – that it is safe, functional and sanitary.
Survivors have chosen to remain in their damaged homes while repairs are being made. In these cases they may be eligible to receive assistance for repairs, but are ineligible for housing assistance.
Duplication of applications. Two people (husband and wife, for example) have applied for assistance for the same damaged home. Only one application per household is allowed.
A letter may indicate your application is missing information such as verification of occupancy or proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the Hurricane Matthew storms and flooding that began Oct. 4, 2016.
FEMA’s letter of eligibility: Read it very carefully
If you are instructed, you can simply submit missing documentation to FEMA online, by mail or fax, or
by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). You can find the location of the nearest DRC by visiting
Applicants who do not receive a letter or who have questions about their determination of denial
should call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for an explanation, or visit their FEMA account
A copy of “Help After a Disaster” will be included with your letter of determination. The booklet
explains additional assistance that may be available to survivors and answers questions about
filing an appeal.
Any applicant that has been denied assistance may file an appeal. Call the FEMA Helpline at
800-621-3362 or visit a DRC for more information about the appeal process. You can submit
your appeal and the required documentation online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
In South Carolina, the “One SC Fund” supports and directs funds to nonprofit organizations
providing disaster relief & recovery assistance. For more information, visit
yourfoundation.org/community-impact/one-sc-fund-sc-flood-relief/. Survivors in the state who
need food, clothing, and shelter are urged to call 2-1-1, and for storm clean up to call 800-451-
For more information, visit the South Carolina Emergency Management Division at