Menendez, Booker to NJ Sandy Victims: Check Your Mailbox for FEMA Claims Review Letters

Menendez, Booker to NJ Sandy Victims: Check Your Mailbox for FEMA Claims Review Letters


NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today urged those New Jersey Sandy victims who filed flood insurance claims with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and feel they were underpaid to participate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) claims review process.  The first wave of FEMA letters go out today, with a total of over 140,000 being sent to Sandy victims in the affected states over the next several weeks.

“While the wait has been far too long, starting today, all Sandy victims with flood insurance will have the opportunity to get what they were entitled to so they can finally end this nightmare and move on with their lives,” said Sen. Menendez.  “While the path has been long, windy, and often dark, today we see light at the end of the tunnel as more than 70,000 New Jersey homeowners will get a second chance to be made whole.  It has been an honor to stand with Sandy survivors and I will continue to fight by their side until the recovery is full and complete.”     

“It’s unacceptable that victims of Superstorm Sandy’s devastation are still fighting to get what they rightfully deserve from their insurers,” said Sen. Booker.  "Senator Menendez and I have worked hard with our colleagues from New York to correct these significant problems, and today's announcement is another step forward in righting this wrong.  Every New Jerseyan who filed claims with NFIP and feels they were underpaid should follow the instructions they will soon receive in the mail.  Even with today's important announcement, the job of helping victims is by no means complete and we will continue to fight on behalf of all those affected by Superstorm Sandy until they are whole."

As a result of continued efforts by the Sandy Task Force, led by Sen. Menendez, along with Sens. Booker, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), FEMA agreed to reopen each flood insurance claim filed by victims of Superstorm Sandy who feel they were underpaid and are not currently in litigation.   FEMA continues to work towards settling the approximately 2,200 cases in litigation.

FEMA has outlined the claims review process as follows:

  • Effective today, policyholders may call a toll-free telephone number 866-337-4262 or go online to download a form requesting a review, even before receiving the letter.  Policyholders will have 90 days from receipt of the letter to make contact with FEMA and opt-in to the review process.  FEMA expects most reviews to be concluded within 90 days of the policyholder requesting the review.
  • Policyholders who contact FEMA will be required to provide the name of the policyholder and the address of the insured property.  They will be asked questions to determine whether they qualify for review.  Those currently in litigation or who have received policy limits (the maximum amount under their flood insurance policy) will not qualify for a review. 
  • FEMA will obtain the policyholder’s claim file from their insurance company and forward it to the NFIP review office within two business days.  Files will be assigned to a highly qualified, NFIP-certified adjuster who will serve as a case manager for the insured.
  • Claims with engineering reports will be reviewed by an engineer not associated with firms currently under investigation. 
  • Case managers will contact policyholders to guide them through the review process.  Property visits may be conducted if applicable.
  • The case manager will make a recommendation after a thorough review of the claim file and any new information provided.  If the policyholder does not agree with the recommendation, the policyholder will have the opportunity to obtain an additional review of the file by a third-party neutral, who is independent from FEMA. This neutral party will then review the claim again and make a recommendation, to which FEMA will be highly deferential. 
  • If the results of the review support additional payment, FEMA will direct the insurance company to issue payment to the policyholder, and notify the policyholder by letter. 
  • FEMA will complete a duplication of benefit analysis to determine the policyholder’s eligibility to accept additional federal funds, if the policyholder had also received Sandy-related disaster assistance from another source such as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or one of HUD’s state or local grantees such as New Jersey’s Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) Program.

The letters will be sent to policyholders by zip code.  FEMA will use additional resources to attempt to notify homeowners who have since moved or remain displaced.  Letters will go out to New Jersey Sandy victims in the following order, with a priority for those who had obtained engineering reports:

  • Week of May 18, 2015

07735, 08008, 08050, 08087, 08203, 08226, 08243, 08723, 08735, 08742, 08751, 08753, 07000, 07001, 07002, 07003, 07004, 07006, 07008, 07015, 07020, 07030, 07032, 07036, 07047, 07052, 07057, 07064, 07065, 07066, 07070, 07071, 07072, 07073, 07074, 07077, 07086, 07087, 07094, 07095, 07105, 07109, 07302, 07305, 07310, 07311, 07452, 07601, 07604, 07643, 07653, 07660, 07666, 07701, 07702, 07711, 07712, 07716, 07717, 07718, 07719, 07720, 07723, 07730, 07732, 07733, 07734, 07737, 07739, 07740, 07748, 07750, 07753, 07756, 07757, 07758, 07760, 07762, 07801, 07825, 07866, 07928, 08005, 08006, 08030, 08037, 08042, 08055, 08058, 08060, 08069, 08070, 08075, 08077, 08080, 08082, 08085, 08088, 08092, 08093, 08201, 08202, 08204, 08205, 08210, 08212, 08215, 08220, 08221, 08223, 08224, 08228, 08232, 08234, 08241, 08244, 08247, 08248, 08251, 08260, 08302, 08311, 08314, 08315, 08321, 08323, 08324, 08330, 08332, 08345, 08349, 08375, 08401, 08402, 08403, 08406, 08620, 08700, 08721, 08722, 08724, 08730, 08731, 08732, 08734, 08736, 08737, 08738, 08739, 08740, 08741, 08750, 08752, 08757, 08758, 08817, 08857, 08861, 08872, 08879, 08882

  • Week of May 25, 2015

07000, 07015, 07061, 07089, 07096, 07200, 07220, 07303, 07364, 07643, 07709, 07715, 07725, 07754, 07763, 07778, 07782, 07839, 08000, 08058, 08200, 08206, 08216, 08219, 08220, 08227, 08229, 08231, 08250, 08253, 08266, 08292, 08315, 08400, 08402, 08404, 08405, 08406, 08470, 08472, 08519, 08571, 08573, 08601, 08712, 08725, 08728, 08735, 08739, 08743, 08751, 08754, 08761, 08775, 08806, 08851, 08855, 08875, 08878, 08940, 08951, 07717, 07734, 07750, 07758, 08226, 08243, 08738, 08740, 08742

  • Week of June 1, 2015

07302, 07735, 08008, 08403, 08736, 07057, 07074, 07086, 07732, 07740, 07756, 07757, 07760, 08006, 08202, 08203, 08248, 08401, 08723, 08753, 08808

  • Week of June 8, 2015

07008, 07020, 07029, 07065, 07070, 07071, 07072, 07073, 07075, 07077, 07094, 07095, 07304, 07305, 07310, 07601, 07606, 07646, 07660, 07711, 07718, 07719, 07720, 07737, 07739, 07762, 08050, 08087, 08232, 08244, 08247, 08260, 08721, 08724, 08730, 08731, 08732, 08734, 08741, 08750, 08752, 08758, 08872, 08882, 07001, 07002, 07003, 07004, 07009, 07013, 07016, 07024, 07026, 07028, 07031, 07032, 07033, 07034, 07035, 07036, 07039, 07040, 07042, 07044, 07047, 07050, 07052, 07054, 07055, 07058, 07060, 07062, 07063, 07064, 07066, 07067, 07068, 07069, 07076, 07078, 07079, 07080, 07081, 07083, 07087, 07088, 07090, 07093, 07104, 07105, 07106, 07109, 07110, 07111, 07112, 07114, 07202, 07203, 07204, 07205, 07206, 07306, 07401, 07405, 07407, 07410, 07417, 07423, 07424, 07435, 07438, 07440, 07442, 07444, 07450, 07452, 07458, 07462, 07463, 07470, 07480, 07481, 07501, 07502, 07508, 07522, 07524, 07603, 07607, 07608, 07621, 07624, 07627, 07631, 07632, 07641, 07642, 07644, 07648, 07650, 07652, 07657, 07661, 07662, 07663, 07666, 07675, 07677, 07701, 07702, 07704, 07712, 07716, 07721, 07722, 07723, 07724, 07726, 07727, 07728, 07730, 07731, 07733, 07738, 07746, 07747, 07748, 07751, 07753, 07755, 07764, 07801, 07803, 07823, 07825, 07827, 07834, 07836, 07842, 07843, 07851, 07853, 07882, 07901, 07920, 07922, 07924, 07928, 07930, 07933, 07935, 07936, 07940, 07960, 07976, 07980, 07981, 08001, 08002, 08003, 08005, 08014, 08016, 08021, 08030, 08031, 08034, 08037, 08042, 08046, 08051, 08052, 08054, 08055, 08057, 08059, 08060, 08062, 08063, 08065, 08068, 08069, 08070, 08074, 08075, 08077, 08079, 08080, 08081, 08084, 08085, 08086, 08088, 08092, 08093, 08094, 08096, 08104, 08105, 08106, 08107, 08109, 08110, 08201, 08204, 08205, 08210, 08212, 08215, 08221, 08223, 08224, 08225, 08230, 08234, 08240, 08241, 08242, 08246, 08251, 08270, 08302, 08311, 08314, 08316, 08320, 08321, 08324, 08329, 08330, 08332, 08343, 08345, 08348, 08349, 08360, 08502, 08505, 08520, 08527, 08534, 08540, 08553, 08559, 08609, 08619, 08629, 08638, 08648, 08691, 08701, 08722, 08733, 08755, 08757, 08759, 08802, 08805, 08807, 08809, 08810, 08812, 08816, 08817, 08820, 08824, 08827, 08830, 08831, 08832, 08833, 08835, 08836, 08837, 08840, 08844, 08846, 08850, 08852, 08854, 08857, 08861, 08873, 08876, 08879, 08889, 08890, 08901, 08902

Besides ensuring Sandy survivors get what they rightfully deserve, the Senators’ Sandy Task Force continues to work with FEMA on recommendations for long-term NFIP reforms to prevent the problems that arose after Sandy from being repeated for future flood victims.

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