POSTED: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 4:30am
UPDATED: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 4:34am
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., urges disaster survivors facing recoupment of improper payments to request a waiver from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Last month, from February 13-17, FEMA sent letters to approximately 90,000 affected individuals and households informing them they may be eligible for a waiver. These individuals and households must respond to FEMA within 60 days of the letter date - between April 13-17 depending on the date of their letter - to request a waiver and certify that they meet the criteria, including need, household income and appropriate use of funds.
"FEMA moved swiftly and aggressively to implement a plan to waive or refund the debts of eligible disaster survivors, but this is not blanket debt forgiveness - families must respond to receive a waiver," Sen. Landrieu said. "For affected families earning less than $90,000 a year, their debt could be forgiven by simply responding to a letter from FEMA. If there was ever a time to write a letter and send it in, now would be the time."
Sen. Landrieu successfully included a provision in the FY2012 federal spending bill that allows the FEMA Administrator to waive a debt owed to the federal government if the household earns less than $90,000 and was given assistance due to FEMA error - families earning more than $90,000 may be eligible for a partial waiver. Previously, FEMA did not have the authority to waive any overpayment debt. This provision prohibits the administrator from waiving any debt that involves fraud.
Click here for more information on the FEMA recoupment waiver process