November 19, 2012
I. ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES INSURANCE OUTREACH EFFORT TOMORROW
II. LETTER FROM FEMA IS THE STARTING POINT.
Please, if you are able, share this information with your residents immediately.
I. ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES INSURANCE OUTREACH
In order to continue assisting New Jerseyans who have suffered property loss as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the Christie Administration will host additional mobile offices in Ocean and Bergen counties Tuesday, November 20, between 9 am. and 5 p.m., to handle consumers' questions, take complaints, and assist them in filing insurance claims related to damages caused by the storm.
Last week, Acting Commissioner Kobylowski and his staff hosted similar mobile offices at Sayreville Senior Center (Sayreville, Middlesex County), the West Park Recreation center (Oakhurst, Monmouth County) and the Berkeley Township Recreation Center (Bayville, Ocean County).
The Department will send members of its senior staff along with consumer representatives to each location. Staff will provide consumers with literature on such topics as property insurance, flood insurance and general information about filing insurance claims, as well as answer general questions and assistance. There will also be a representative from the Governor's Office at each site. In order to expedite matters, residents should bring their insurance policy and any claim information to the mobile office.
The locations are as follows:
Brick Township Civic Center
270 Chambers Bridge Road
Brick Township, NJ 08723
St Margaret of Cartona Church
31 Chamberlain Avenue
Little Ferry, NJ 07643
Consumers unable to attend a mobile office can call the Department with questions about banking and insurance matters at (800) 446-7467 or visit online at www.dobi.nj.gov.
II. LETTER FROM FEMA IS THE STARTING POINT
The Governor’s Office has provided the following important information.
After registering with FEMA, disaster survivors receive a letter from FEMA concerning the status of their application. The letter is a starting point about whether or not the applicant will receive disaster assistance.
Applicants should read the letter carefully. Even if the letter says that you are ineligible, the reason might simply be that you have not provided all the information or documentation required. It does not necessarily mean "case closed." When applicable, the letter explains what additional information is needed or how to appeal a decision that you do not qualify for assistance.
Ask for help if you don't understand the letter. Call the helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center where you can talk with a FEMA representative about your particular situation. To find the nearest center, log on to www.fema.gov/drclocator. You may not have qualified for financial help right away, but that decision may change if you submit additional documents. Some of the reasons for an initial ineligible decision can be that you:
* Have not submitted a settlement or denial determination from your insurance company.
* Did not provide FEMA with all the information needed to process your application.
* Have not provided proof of ownership or occupancy.
* Did not provide records that showed the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.
* Did not sign essential documents.
FEMA can never duplicate assistance from insurance or other government sources, but FEMA may be able to cover some of your uninsured losses. Providing the requested information or taking the required actions outlined in the letter might change FEMA's determination. The letter also explains how to appeal a determination. Appeals must be filed within 60 days of the date of the ineligible decision.
Remember: the letter from FEMA is a starting point. You should:
* Read the letter carefully.
* Ask questions and ask for help.
* Tell FEMA if you think the decision is incorrect. You have the right to ask FEMA to reconsider the decision.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.