by Chris Davis
GULFPORT, Miss.--FEMA tells News Mississippi that if you filed a claim for help with Hurricane Isaac and its aftermath, you may soon get a visit from the agency or contractors hired to conduct inpections.
In a news release sent out Wednesday, the agency says they will be trying to determine if applicants qualify for rental assistance, money to help with repairs, or other disaster-related assistance. FEMA also says the contractors will have a proper ID when they come knocking.
Because of all the fraud after Hurricane Katrina, the agency is providing extra information to keep you from being swindled. This is from their press release:
What To Expect: Inspector's Call: A nine-digit application number is assigned to applicants after they register with FEMA. An inspector will call within 10 days to schedule an appointment to visit the damaged property. Inspector's Visit: Inspectors will review structural and personal property damage and file a report, but they do not determine eligibility or estimate or determine the value of damage or losses. The inspection typically takes 15 to 45 minutes. The applicant, or someone who is 18 or older and lived in the household prior to Hurricane Isaac, must be present for the scheduled appointment.
Applicants can speed up the process by having the appropriate documents on hand: ·
A photo ID to prove identity, such as driver's license or passport. ·
Homeowners must present proof of ownership, which may include any one of the following: ·
Deed showing applicant as the legal owner.·
Title that lists the applicant on actual escrow or title document for the purchase of the home.·
Mortgage payment book that names the applicant along with the address of the damaged home.·
Property insurance policy for the damaged home with applicant's name listed as the insured.·
Tax receipts or a property tax bill that lists the address of the damaged home and the applicant as the responsible party to the assessments. ·
Renters must present proof of occupancy, which may include any one of the following: ·
A lease, rent payment receipt, utility bill or other document confirming the home was the primary residence at the time of the disaster.·
An employee pay stub and similar documents addressed to the applicant and showing the address of the damaged home.
Property owners who need to replace a document to prove ownership should visit their local tax office. Proof of ownership may avoid long delays in receiving eligible FEMA funds. After the Inspector's Visit: Within 10 days of the visit, an applicant will receive a joint letter from the state of Mississippi and FEMA that contains a decision. Anyone with questions should call 800-621-3362. Those who use TTY can call 800-462-7585.