About 3,000 Superstorm Sandy victims who were either wrongly given storm recovery aid or who were overpaid would not have to repay the federal government under legislation to be introduced next week by two New Jersey Congressmen.
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone will introduce identical bills that would prohibit the federal Emergency Management Agency from issuing so-called "clawback" letters demanding repayment of aid it wrongly awarded to homeowners.
The law would not apply to cases of fraud.
They estimate 3,000 homeowners in New Jersey and New York have gotten repayment demands so far. The Democratic lawmakers say the legislation is designed to help storm victims who applied for aid, got it, and through no fault of their own, were later found to be ineligible or overpaid. In many cases, the lawmakers say, that money has already been spent on repairs.
"Disaster victims should never have to pay for someone else's mistake," Menendez said. "These families have suffered enough, are barely holding on financially and emotionally, and can't afford to pay back money they thought all along was rightfully theirs to use towards their recovery."
September 16, 2021
September 15, 2021