The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Did FEMA turn you down for not proving you own your home? FEMA can still help you even if you do not have official papers to show that you own your home, or have paperwork to prove you were living in your home near the time of the disaster.

FEMA usually asks for you to provide at least one of these:

  • The deed or deed of trust to the property
  • Bond for deed
  • Quitclaim deed
  • Bill of sale
  • Will or Affidavit of Heirship
  • A mortgage statement or escrow analysis
  • Homeowners or flood insurance documents, payments records, or bill
  • Property tax receipt or bill
  • Manufactured home certificate or title
  • Court documents about who owns the property
  • A letter from a public official
  • Receipts from major repairs or improvements within the last five years
  • Statement from trailer park owner that includes how they know you owned the trailer (like they had your ownership documents on file before the disaster)

If you do not have these papers, there are steps you can take to work with FEMA.

You can write something called “a Self-Declarative Statement.” It swears that you own the property. It explains why you do not have the paperwork FEMA asked for to show that you own your home. It must say that you are saying everything in it “under the penalty of perjury.” The words “under penalty of perjury” make it a crime for you to lie in the statement.

How do I write a Self-Declarative Statement?

The Self-Declarative statement must include these things:

  • Every page must have your FEMA claim number and the disaster number. Hurricane Ida is Disaster Number 4611.
  • It must list the address of your damaged home.
  • It must say how long you lived in your home before the disaster.
  • It must have your printed name.
  • It must have your signature.

The following is a sample Self-Declarative Statement. It has places to check off items or fill in information for your situation:

“I have made a good faith effort, in coordination with FEMA, to obtain and provide a copy of acceptable ownership documentation. I do meet FEMA’s definition of an owner-occupant because I: [initial all that apply]

____ am the legal owner of the home,

____ pay no rent but am   responsible for the payment of taxes or maintenance for the home, or

____ have a lifetime right to live in the home under a will or inheritance or ________.

I was unable to obtain this documentation because:

[provide an explanation of why other documents listed above were not available].

I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

[sign your name and the date]

If the property was inherited, instead of the three options to check off above, include, if true:

“As the nearest relative of the deceased in the line of succession, my ownership includes all the rights and obligations of the deceased.  The decedent’s name is ______, who died on _______. I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

[Sign your name and the date]

If the property was inherited and you are not the nearest relative, include a similar substitute paragraph explaining how you came to inherit the property.

If the home is a trailer:

Include a signed statement from the commercial or mobile home park owner if you can.

For more information:

FEMA’s policy document about this is posted at https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_iappg-policy-amendments-memo.pdf

FEMA’s own staff often forget about this 2021 policy change.

Proving occupancy instead of ownership:

If you are attempting to establish that the property was your home at the time of the disaster (occupancy), not ownership, your statement should be something like this:

I have made a good faith effort, in coordination with FEMA, to obtain and provide a copy of acceptable occupancy documentation.  I was unable to obtain this documentation [provide an explanation of why you could not get documents FEMA requests or how the documents you could get did not meet FEMA’s requirements].

I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

[Sign your name and the date]

Do you need help proving that you owned or lived in your home?

Someone experienced in dealing with FEMA can help. If you went through Hurricane Ida, you might be able to get free legal help from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

To see if you qualify for free legal aid from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, call our Disaster Legal Services Hotline at: 1-800-310-7029, or apply at our website www.slls.org/get-help/client-services.

For More Information

https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_iappg-policy-amendments-memo.pdf

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Did you live in Bayou Towers before Hurricane Ida?

Do you have things you still need to get from your unit?

Have you been told you cannot enter?

If so, we may be able to help arrange access to remove your belongings. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm looking to help disaster survivors. Call our Disaster Legal Services Hotline to see if you can get free legal help from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services:

1-800-310-7029

Or apply online here.

We also help with:

  • FEMA denials
  • RESTORE Louisiana denials
  • Heir Property, Successions, and Title Clearing
  • Contractor Disputes
The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Not enough money to repair your Home after Hurricane Ida?

No help from RESTORE Louisiana?

Not enough money from FEMA?

Did RESTORE say your home wasn’t damaged enough?

Did you take the online survey? Were you told “your home does not meet the level of damage required for program assistance?”

If so, you may still be able to get help from RESTORE Louisiana

To get help from RESTORE LA, you had to apply for help from FEMA after Hurricane Ida, and:

  1. get $8,000 from FEMA to repair your home; OR
  2. get $3,500 From FEMA for personal property; OR
  3. Your home flooded more than one foot.

If you fall into any of these categories but Restore Louisiana says you don’t qualify, SLLS may be able to help.

If FEMA did not give you enough money, and you still need help fixing your home, SLLS may be able to help.

Call our Disaster Legal Services Hotline to see if you can get free legal help from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services: 1-800-310-7029, or apply online here.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Contractor fraud from hurricane repairs? Restore Louisiana may be able to help survivors of Hurricanes Ida, Delta and Laura.

Did a contractor take your money without doing repairs you paid for or by doing terrible work?

Contractor fraud occurs if:

  • Your contractor did not finish work within 45 days of getting paid, unless the contract gives more time.
  • Your contractor damaged your home.
  • Your contractor did poor work or work worth less than you paid for.
  • Your contractor lied about permits or licenses.
  • Your contractor misled you to get the job.

If even one of these things happened, you may be able to get help from the Restore Louisiana program.

Restore Louisiana helps Louisiana homeowners rebuild homes destroyed or severely damaged. The home must have been severely damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ida, Laura, or Delta.

Restore Louisiana can sometimes help homeowners who are victims of contractor fraud.

The Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) runs this federal disaster relief program.

Can I get Restore Louisiana aid?

Every one of the things on this list must be true to get the help:

  • You owned the home when the hurricane hit.
  • That home was the main place where you lived when the hurricane hit.
  • You still own that home.
  • Your income must be low enough to meet the guidelines. Different limits will apply depending on how many people apply. But the limits are set out here.
  • The government must find that your home had “major and severe” damage.

Any of these three things count as “major and severe” damage:

  • You had a FEMA award of at least $8,000 to repair your home.
  • You had a FEMA award of at least $3,500 for personal property.
  • Your home had more than one foot of flooding.

How do I show contractor fraud?

You must show all of these things:

  • Proof that you paid the contractor. Proof that the contractor did not finish the job. This may be photos of repairs not finished, a current estimate of work needed from a new contractor to finish the work, and so on).
  • Proof that you told enough government officials that your contractor committed fraud.

You will need to give Restore Louisiana paperwork to show you reported the fraud. The program will want proof you did all of these:

  • Filed a fraud report with the Louisiana Attorney General’s office
  • Filed a police report
  • Filed a fraud complaint with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors

To find out more about Restore Louisiana and how to apply, go to https://slls.org/restore-louisiana/

If you are a Hurricane Ida survivor who has been the victim of contractor fraud, you may be eligible for free legal assistance with problems with Restore Louisiana and sometimes regarding contractor fraud.

To see if you can get free help, call the Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Disaster Legal Services Hotline at: 1-800-310-7029, or apply at our website here.

References

http://legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?p=y&d=508538

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

If you have undone repairs or rebuilding work to do on your home, the Restore LA program gives homeowners two choices. You must first qualify for Restore LA aid.  To learn more about Restore LA see our other blog post here.

Here are the two ways you can use aid from Restore Louisiana:

  • Solution 1: Program - Managed (that means the program hires, pays, and oversees the company that will fix your home)
  • Solution 2: Homeowner - Managed (that means you hire, pay, and oversee the company that fixes your home); Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Replacement Assistance (that means that the program replaces, not repairs your damaged mobile home).

Both Solution 1 & 2 require that you meet the following requirements below.  If you do not comply, you may not be eligible for program assistance and you may have to pay funds back to the program.

  • Maintain communication with the case manager during the program. A case manager is a person who will be assigned to you, direct you to resources, and help you develop a disaster recovery plan.
  • Submit required documents.
  • Allow lead-based paint testing.
  • Allow inspections.

There is a third way to use Restore LA aid. That is called Solution 3: Reimbursement.

The third choice is for people who have money to fix their home. Or for people who have already installed a manufactured home unit on their property to replace a damaged home.

Those homeowners can try to get Restore LA to reimburse (pay back) what they spent to repair or rebuild, or replace a manufactured home unit, completed before the program damage assessment. This money is separate from other FEMA or insurance money.

Which choice is right for me?

Here is information about each choice – called a “Solution” by Restore LA.

Solution 1: Program - Managed

  • The state hires a licensed and insured contractor to manage repair or rebuilding of your home.
  • That means the state and the contractor call most of the shots for your home repair or rebuilding project.
  • You do not work directly with the contractor.
  • The contractor does the repair or rebuilding work, including hiring and managing the workers.
  • This can include demolition, planning, reconstruction, and permitting.
  • The state pays the contractor.
  • You do not get the money to pay the contractor.
  • The state provides a limited warranty on home repairs and new construction made by the program contractor.
  • The program will only pay amount based on allowable square footage, subtracting any other disaster assistance you got.
  • You can pick colors and finishes from choices available.
  • All materials are economy (budget) grade. That means this is not an upscale or luxury repair or rebuilding project. You cannot make upgrades, substitutions, or customize the work.[1]
  • You must contribute funds received from other sources (FEMA, SBA, or insurance payments) into an escrow account before receiving the grant award. These funds, too, will be disbursed by the Program to make Payments to the Solution 1 contractor.
  • Everyone in the home must move out of the home within 30 days after Notice to Proceed is issued. The move out is to allow the repairs or rebuilding to go forward on time. The state provides money for hotel and rental assistance during this time if you need it and have no other available housing. To be considered, contact your case manager who can help assist you in this process.
  • If everyone does not move out BY THE DEADLINE the grant can be taken away. That means Restore LA will not go forward with your repairs or rebuilding, and you will lose this aid.
  • You must handle your own move out. That means you must move out all of your things and store them if you want to keep them.
  • If you do not remove your things from your home, repair or construction workers will throw away your things. You can move your things back into your home only after the work is done and the home passes final inspection.
  • Any demolition and reconstruction are managed by the contractor.
  • You get to approve changes and should attend inspections. Changes may be needed in the event of drawing errors and omissions in the construction documents. Sometimes specifications are not clear or impossible to perform.
  • Direct questions go to your case manager, not the contractor.

Solution 2: Homeowner - Managed

  • All solution 2 projects require a LA licensed general contractor

There are two choices under Solution 2.

  • You manage project:
    • This choice means that you oversee repairs or rebuilding yourself by hiring, paying, and supervising the work.
    • Reimbursement payment made to homeowner after work is inspected and verified.
    • Remember to make sure you and your contractor know about this and agree to these terms in your written contract.
  • You hire licensed contractor:
    • This choice means that you hire a Louisiana licensed and insured contractor to oversee the project.
    • The state may issue a two-party check to homeowner and contractor after work is inspected and verified.
  • Contracts are between you and your selected contractor(s).
  • The state does not provide a warranty for Solution 2 projects. That means the state does not guarantee the work will be done correctly.
  • You should seek reputable contractors who stand behind their work with a warranty.
  • You must give Restore LA a “project completion plan and timeline” for projects of $10,000.00 or more.
  • You won’t get any Restore LA money until the repair or construction work is inspected and confirmed. Make sure your contracts allow for this, so your contractor knows what it takes to get paid for the work.
  • You are responsible for contributing all FEMA, SBA, insurance, or other non-profit  insurance and FEMA  funds previously received. You must report all of these before receiving an award. The program will identify all potential sources of assistance received and reduce awards by these other amounts.
  • You can work with contractors of your choice and choose your own building materials.
  • Note: The program reimburses for the cost of economy (budget) grade materials and finishes. So this means that you will have to pay the difference for higher grade materials or finishes.
  • Deadlines:
    • You must start construction with at least one inspection within 180 days of executing grant agreement.
    • Must complete project within 365 days of executing the grant agreement.
    • If deadlines are not met, you may lose state funding.

Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Unit (or MHU) Replacement Assistance

  • The state establishes maximum allowed for removal of a damaged unit, replacement of damaged MHUs and the costs associated with the delivery and set up of the new MHU.
  • If you are eligible to replace a damaged MHU with a new MHU, a damaged singlewide MHU will be $85,000.00. or less A damaged doublewide MHU will be $120,000.00 or less. The amount will be reduced by any other assistance you received from FEMA, SBA, or insurance. This amount also has to cover the removal and transportation and setup.
  • You must also provide the bill of sale which clearly states that Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the replacement unit.
  • You will not get any money until you give the program proof of a contract to purchase and install a new (not used) MHU. Proof can be  a Purchase Agreement with an MHU seller.
  • Exception: If you have already received a FEMA MHU and want to purchase that mobile home, you may be able to purchase it, but only with FEMA’s approval and an agreement to purchase provided. To see if this would apply to you, first check with Restore Louisiana for further details.

SOLUTION 1: Program - Managed

Pros: If all this is overwhelming and you want someone to take the lead, then you may want to consider Solution 1. Under Solution 1 Restore LA will hire  a licensed and insured contractor to  handle the demolition, planning, reconstruction, and permitting through completion of the project.

If you struggle with keeping track of deadlines, managing your own money, or if you have other problems that will make it hard for you to keep up with a repair or construction project, or if it is hard for you to find a  contractor then Solution 1 may help  you.

Cons: If you chose Solution 1, you will be required to move out of your home. You   cannot move back into your home until notified by the program in writing. If you do not want to be displaced from your home, then this Solution may cause discomfort.

Also, you will be required to move your belongings out of your home, otherwise it will be disposed of as part of the demolition. If you do not have a place to store your belongings, then this option may cause difficulty. Unfortunately, the Restore program does not provide moving and storage assistance.

SOLUTION 2: Homeowner - Managed

Pros: This option gives you more control, though you will also have more responsibility.  Solution 2 may help you if you really want to pick your own  licensed and insured contractor and if you can handle  deadlines, contracts, details, and  find a reputable contractor within the time limits.

Cons: If you have an issue with keeping track of deadlines, managing your own money, or have accessibility barriers, then this option may not be for you.

Check out this video for more information:

Need more materials? Check out the links below.

*Contact Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001 for more details about Solution 1 & 2 reconstruction. 

[1] The program will make changes as needed for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations. For example, “If the homeowner has any mobility issues, vinyl flooring will be installed throughout the home. Flooring transitions must be such that a wheelchair/mobility impaired person can easily maneuver throughout the home. “ LA Office of Community Development. Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program. Version 1.2 last updated: April 2022, pp. 105.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

What is Restore Louisiana?

Restore Louisiana helps Louisiana homeowners rebuild if their homes were destroyed or nearly destroyed by one of these three Hurricanes: Ida, Laura, or Delta. The Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD) runs this federal disaster relief program.

Am I eligible?

All of these things must be true for you to get this aid.

  • You must have owned the home when the hurricane hit.
  • That home must have been your “primary residence.” That means the home was the main place where you lived at the time of the hurricane.
  • You must still own that home.
  • Your income must be low-to-moderate. There are rules about what that means.
  • The government must find that your home had “major and severe” damage.

Any one of the three things listed here should mean your home had “major and severe” damage:

  • You received a FEMA award of at least $8,000 to repair your home.
  • You received a FEMA award of at least $3,500 for personal property.
  • Your home had more than one foot of flooding.

How do I apply for help from Restore Louisiana?

STEP 1: Complete the Restore Louisiana survey that is administered by the Louisiana Office of Community Development (OCD)

You must complete the survey to qualify for the program.

Is there a deadline to complete the survey?

The survey is separate from the full application.

It’s easy to confuse the survey with the full application.

The survey is a required first step to see if you will be allowed to file a full application.

Don’t wait to send in your survey.

The program could decide in the future to set a deadline for surveys.

Again, the program uses the survey to see who will be allowed fill out a full application.

  • You can take the survey online at http://restore.la.gov
  • You can take the survey by phone at (866) 735-2001.
  • Phone hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Keep the account ID, last name, and password you used when filling out the program survey in a safe place. You may have to use them for years.

After you do the survey, Restore Louisiana should start to send you text and email messages about your request for aid.

STEP 2: Completing the Restore Louisiana application.

If your survey is approved Restore Louisiana will text or email you to apply for aid from Restore Louisiana. That means you have been asked to send in a full application for aid.

You can fill out the Restore Louisiana full application on a computer tablet, or mobile device.

The application will ask you to log onto something called a “portal.”

You will enter the same account ID, last name and password you used when filling out the program survey.

At this stage you will need to give the program documents that show you qualify for aid.

Before you start your application learn more about what it takes to qualify for aid.

  • Proving Home Ownership
    • If your name is not the name that appears on the land records, tax assessors or other government databases, you may have to show additional documents to prove you owned the damaged home at the time of the hurricane.
    • Proving home ownership can create problems for people who inherited a home from someone who died. This is called heir property. Sometimes the heirs did not complete the legal step called a “succession” to transfer ownership of the house.
    • Sometimes problems crop up when proving ownership of a trailer.
    • If you have trouble proving home ownership, you may need legal help with this issue.

You may qualify for free legal aid from SLLS.

To see if you qualify for free legal aid from SLLS, call our Disaster Legal Services Hotline at: 1-800-310-7029, or apply through our website by clicking here.

  • Occupancy of the home – proving that you were living in the home at the time of the disaster.
    • Homeowners must be able to prove they were living in the home at the time of the hurricane.
    • Occupancy is proven through parish records.

For example, the Restore Louisiana program will look for a homestead exemption in the property tax records.

  • When occupancy cannot be shown through parish records like a homestead exemption, you may have to send in other records like tax records, utility bills, other bills to show that you were living in the home at the time of the hurricane.
  • Flood Insurance
    • You may need to prove that you have flood insurance to get Restore Louisiana aid,
    • You will need to prove something about flood insurance if your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (or 100-Year Flood Plain)
      • Before you can sign for your Restore Louisiana grant you will need to send in a copy of a current flood insurance declaration page.
        Or you may need to send in something called a “declination letter” (if your home cannot get flood insurance because of its poor condition).
      • Reconstructions and trailer home replacements: you must send in proof that you have flood insurance before construction is complete or before the final inspection.

*For more information, see Restore Louisiana’s Flood Insurance Requirements flyer.

  • Homeowners who do not take the steps below may not be able to get funding and might be asked to pay back any money they were paid.
  • Send in proof you are flood insured when you are getting the Restore funds
  • Have flood insurance coverage at ALL times after that
  • If you sell your home, you must tell the new owner of the requirement to keep flood insurance
  • Homeowners who get federal disaster aid for a damaged home must buy and keep flood insurance coverage on the property for as long as the home exists.
  • Elevation
    • Elevation of the home may be required on a case-by-case basis.
    • If your home is in a floodplain you may have to elevate if
      • required by a local ordinance, and
      • the local code officials determine your home is substantially damaged or will be substantially improved
      • This elevation must be to HUD’s height requirement, or to the local jurisdiction height requirement, whichever is higher
    • If your home is not in a floodplain you may have to elevate if a local ordinance requires this for reconstructions
    • If elevation is required, you must have it done the same way as the rest of the work Restore is funding on your home.

This means if you choose Solution 1: Program-Managed Construction, then you must allow the Restore Program to elevate your home.

If you choose one of the other Solutions, then you have to make sure your home is elevated.

  • You can lose your Restore Louisiana Aid or be asked to pay back the money if you do not elevate a home that is required to be raised up

* Call Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001 to learn more about elevation requirements.

What flood zone am I in?

See steps below.

Go to:

  1. LSU’s website at: http://maps.lsuagcenter.com/floodmaps/ or FEMA’s website at: msc.fema.gov
  2. Put your address in the search bar.
  3. Select the “go” or “search” button.
  4. Find the pin on the map, and zoom in.
  5. Your flood zone area will show up.
  6. Click this link to view a flood zone chart and find your corresponding flood zone area.

You can also find this chart information on FEMA’s website at: https://www.fema.gov/glossary/flood-zones.

Here, you can find out what flood zone that you are in.

Here are the next steps once your application is accepted:

  • You will be contacted to make an appointment with an inspector.
  • You will receive grant money based on your damage assessment.
  • Your next steps will depend on which solution you choose.

During the application process, you can choose a solution based on the progress in the rebuilding process and your capacity to complete the work.

○ If you have remaining work to be completed, then you will be asked to choose between Solution 1: Program -Managed Solution or Solution 2: Homeowner- Managed Construction.

○ If you have a mobile home unit (MHU) that needs to be replaced, you will be asked to consider Solution 2: Manufactured Housing Replacement Assistance.

○ If you seek reimbursement costs for partial or full repairs on your home, or if you replaced your MHU before applying to the Restore Program, you may be eligible for Solution 3: Reimbursement of expenses that you incurred before the application process and up to completion of the Program’s Damage Assessment.

○ For more information, see the Restore Program’s Homeowner Journey Guide or Choosing your Solution video.

Still have work needed on your home? You may want to look at the pros and cons of Solution 1 and 2 below:

SOLUTION 1: Program-Managed

Pros: If all this is overwhelming and you want someone to take the lead, then you may want to consider Solution 1.

Solution 1 will assign a licensed and insured contractor who will handle the demolition, planning, reconstruction, and permitting through completion of the project.

If you struggle with keeping track of deadlines, managing your own money, or if you have other problems that will make it hard for you to keep up with a repair or construction project,  or if it is hard for you to find a contractor then Solution 1, then this option may help you.

Cons: If you chose Solution 1, you will be required to move out of your home. You cannot move back into your home until notified by the program in writing. If you do not want to be displaced from your home, then this Solution may cause difficulty, or discomfort, for you. Also, you will be required to move out your belongings, otherwise it will be disposed of as part of the demolition. If you do not have a place to store your belongings, then this option may not be for you. Unfortunately, the Restore program does not provide moving and storage assistance. But it does cover rent.

SOLUTION 2: Homeowner-Managed

Pros: If you want to choose your own licensed and insured contractor and want to take more control over your home reconstruction decisions, you may want to consider Solution 2.

Cons: This option may not work for someone who has trouble keeping track of deadlines, managing money, or has other problems that would make it hard to deal with a repair or rebuilding project.

You must do some things to keep your grant under either Solution 1 or Solution 2:

You could lose your grant or be asked to pay it back if you do not follow the rules of the program.

  • Stay in touch with the case manager for the duration of the program
  • Send in required documents
  • Allow lead-based paint testing
  • Allow inspections

* For more information about Solutions 1 and 2, see our flyer found here or Contact Restore Louisiana at (866) 735-2001.

La Comisión de Seguros de Luisiana creó un programa de mediación para reclamos de $50,000.00 o menos.

La mediación es una manera de resolver una disputa sin ir al tribunal.

Piense en estas cosas para decidir si mediar en su reclamo.

  • Por lo general, es mejor buscar un abogado con experiencia en su tipo de problema, si puede.
  • Hay plazos para presentar un caso en el tribunal. Usar la mediación no le da más tiempo para presentar un caso en el tribunal.
  • Existen sanciones especiales para las compañías de seguros que no actúen de buena fe o utilicen el “trato justo”. A menudo, estas sanciones especiales pueden pagar lo suficiente para que un abogado tome un caso.
  • El uso de un abogado que sabe sobre reclamos de seguros puede hacer que la compañía de seguros acepte pagar más por su reclamo.
  • Si su reclamo es pequeño o tiene problemas, puede resultarle difícil encontrar un abogado.
  • Si no puede encontrar un abogado que lo ayude, algo llamado “mediación” podría ayudar.
  • No todos pueden encontrar o pagar un abogado.

Aquí hay cosas que debe saber sobre el programa de mediación del huracán Ida del Comisionado de Seguros de Luisiana:

  • La mediación significa que habrá una persona neutral que te escuchará a usted y a la compañía de seguros y tratará de ayudarlos a llegar a un acuerdo.
  • La mediación bajo este programa cuesta una tarifa fija de $600.00. La compañía de seguros paga esa tarifa, a menos que ambaspartes acuerden lo contrario.
  • La mediación sólo ocurre si tu y la compañía de seguros están de acuerdo con la mediación.
  • El mediador trabajará con ambas partes para tratar de que todos estén de acuerdo en un resultado.
  • Para que el resultado sea definitivo, usted y su aseguradora deben llegar a un acuerdo por escrito.
  • No estás obligado a aceptar nada.
  • Si no puede resolver la disputa, puede parar la mediación.
  • Puede probar otras formas de resolver las cosas con su compañía de seguros, incluida la presentación de una demanda. Debe presentar una demanda antes de alguna fecha límite legal.
  • La mediación ofrecida por la Comisión de Seguros de Luisiana finaliza el 31 de diciembre de 2022.

Para iniciar la mediación, llame o envíe un correo electrónico a una de estas empresas :

La mediación no es la opción correcta para todos.

  • Si cree que el seguro debería haber pagado más de $50,00.00, su caso no califica para este programa de mediación.
  • Si realmente cree que no podrá convencer a la compañía de seguros de que pague más por su reclamo, es posible que deba buscar un abogado para considerar emprender otras acciones legales.

** Los Servicios Legales del Sudeste de Luisiana no representan a personas en disputas de reclamos de seguros.

¿Más preguntas? Vaya al sitio web del Departamento de Seguros de Luisiana:

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

The Louisiana Insurance Commission created a mediation program for claims of $50,000.00 or less.

Mediation is a way to work out a dispute without going to court.

Think about these things to decide whether to mediate your claim.

  • It is usually best to find a lawyer with experience with your kind of issue, if you can.
  • There are deadlines to file a court case. Using mediation does not give you more time to file a court case.
  • There are special penalties for insurance companies who do not act in good faith or use “fair dealing.” Often these special penalties can pay enough for a lawyer to take a case.
  • Using a lawyer who knows about insurance claims may get the insurance company to agree to pay more on your claim.
  • If your claim is smaller or has problems, it may hard for you to find a lawyer.
  • If you can’t find a lawyer to help you, something called “mediation” might help.
  • Not everyone can find or afford a lawyer.

Here are things to know about the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner’s Hurricane Ida mediation program:

  • Mediation means that there will be a neutral person who will hear from both you and the insurance company cand try to help the two of you come to an agreement.
  • Mediation under this program costs a flat fee of $600.00. The insurance company pays that fee, unless both parties otherwise agree.
  • Mediation only happens if both you and your insurance company agree to mediation.
  • The mediator will work with both sides to try to get everyone to agree on a result.
  • For the result to be final you and your insurer must reach an agreement in writing.
  • You are not required to agree to anything.
  • If you can’t work out the dispute, you can stop the mediation.
  • You can try other ways to work things out with your insurance company, including filing a lawsuit. You must file a lawsuit before any legal deadline.
  • The mediation offered by the Louisiana Insurance Commission ends December 31, 2022.

To start mediation you call or email one of these companies:

Mediation is not the right choice for everyone.

  • If you believe insurance should have paid more than $50,00.00, your case does not qualify for this mediation program.
  • If you really feel you will not be able to convince the insurance company to pay more on your claim, you may need to find a lawyer to consider taking other legal action.

** Southeast Louisiana Legal Services does not represent people for insurance claim disputes.

More questions? Go to the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s website:

La información proporcionada en esta publicación no representa, y no pretende, un asesoramiento legal. Toda la información disponible en este sitio es información general. Si necesita ayuda legal, debe comunicarse con un abogado. Usted puede ser elegible para nuestros servicios legales. Nuestros servicios son gratuitos. Usted puede solicitar nuestros servicios con llamar nuestra línea directa de asistencia legal por desastre al 1-844-244-7871 o por nuestra aplicación electrónica.

¿Qué limita lo que puede obtener de FEMA para reparaciones de su vivienda?

Tres cosas limitan lo que FEMA puede darle para reparaciones a la vivienda.

Primero, el intento de FEMA es solo regresa las casas a “condiciones seguras, sanitarias y funcionales”.  Un hogar es más que ser seguro, sanitario, y funcional. Pero, FEMA no paga el resto de lo que hace que un hogar sea cómodo para nosotros.

Segundo, FEMA solo paga hasta $36,000.00 para reparaciones de la vivienda. Este límite es para el huracán Ida; y la cantidad cambia anualmente.

Tercero, un error limitará lo que FEMA le page. Alguien podría olvidar de incluir algunas de las reparaciones necesarias. O no se dan cuenta del costo actual de las reparaciones de la vivienda. Estos errores se pueden corregir presentando una apelación.

¿Quién puede apelar los fondos de FEMA para las reparaciones de la vivienda?

Puede apelar si-

  • FEMA le otorgó ayuda para la reparación de la vivienda, pero no está de acuerdo con la cantidad que pagará FEMA.
  • FEMA le otorgó ayuda para la reparación de la vivienda, luego usted apeló y su cantidad sigue siendo baja.
  • No está de acuerdo con la decisión de FEMA de negar la ayuda después de apelar su reclamo de asistencia de la reparación de la vivienda de FEMA.

¿Cuáles son los pasos para apelar mis fondos de FEMA por mi reparación de la vivienda?

  1. Escriba una carta de apelación que explica porque no está de acuerdo con la decisión de FEMA.
  1. Su carta de apelación debe incluir:
  • Su nombre, dirección actual, número de teléfono
  • Residencia principal antes del desastre
  • ID de registro y número de desastre (Huracán IDA = 4611)
  • Lugar y fecha de nacimiento
  • Últimos 4 dígitos de su SSN
  1. Su carta debe estar notariada (incluida una identificación del estado) o debe incluir la declaración:

“Por la presente declaro bajo pena de perjurio que lo anterior es verdadero y correcto”.

  1. Debe firmar y fechar su carta.
  1. Incluya tus fotografías.

Debe guardar sus fotografías en un formato en blanco y negro para enviarlas a FEMA. Asegúrate de que las fotos sean claras. FEMA solo conserva fotografías en formato blanco y negro. 

  1. Incluya un presupuesto del contratista.

No es requerida, pero se recomienda que envíe 2 o 3 presupuestos de contratistas.

 FEMA necesita documentos que demuestren que lo que hicieron estuvo equivocado. Su descripción de los daños e incluso las fotografías no les dicen cuánto dinero necesita para las reparaciones. Un presupuesto les dice cuánto dinero necesita.

 Su presupuesto de contratista debe tener lo siguiente:

    • El presupuesto debe estar en papel con membrete del contratista.
    • El contratista debe firmar el presupuesto
    • El presupuesto debe incluir el nombre, el número de teléfono y la dirección del contratista.
    • El presupuesto debe detallar cómo se relacionan los daños con el desastre federal.
    • El presupuesto debe tener un desglose de daños y costos línea por línea.
    • El presupuesto debe incluir el nombre del propietario.

Como parte de su apelación, también puede escribir a FEMA solicitando una segunda inspección.

 Puede solicitar una segunda inspección en su carta de apelación si:

  • Los fundos de FEMA omitió daños dentro de su hogar o
  • Un inspector de FEMA no dijo que podía mostrarles fotos o videos de su teléfono

¿Hay una fecha límite para presentar mi apelación?

 Sí, hay una fecha límite para enviar una apelación.

Tiene 60 días a partir de la fecha de su carta de determinación de FEMA para enviar por correo, fax o cargar su carta de apelación y tus documentos de apoyo.

Pero si no cumplió con el plazo de 60 días, FEMA puede aceptar apelaciones tardías si demuestra una “buena causa”.

Su apelación y la documentación de respaldo pueden enviarse por correo, por fax o cargarse en su cuenta en línea de FEMA utilizando la información a continuación.

  • Correo: Centro Nacional de Servicios de Procesamiento de FEMA, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
  • Fax: 800-827-8112, Atención: FEMA
  • Cuenta en línea de FEMA: Si se creó su cuenta en línea de FEMA en DisasterAssistance.gov, puede cargar documentos a través del Centro de carga. Sin embargo, si no se creó, para configurar una cuenta en línea de FEMA o cargar documentos en línea, visite DisasterAssistance.gov.

¿Necesita ayuda para apelar sus fondos de FEMA?

Todo esto podría ser complicado. Alguien con experiencia en el trato con FEMA puede ayudarlo a saber qué más se necesita para su apelación.

Puede calificar para asistencia legal gratuita de SLLS.

Vea si califica para recibir asistencia legal gratuita de SLLS, llame a nuestra Línea Directa de Servicios Legales para Desastres al: 1-800-310-7029, o puedes solicitar en línea en nuestro sitio web www.slls.org, haciendo clic aquí.

¿Qué sucede si las reparaciones de mi hogar cuestan más de lo que proporcionó FEMA?

Si las reparaciones de su hogar cuestan más que el límite de FEMA, es posible que pueda solicitar otra ayuda.

Pronto un nuevo programa ayudará a las personas reconstruir del huracán Ida. Se llamará Restaurar Luisiana (Restore Louisiana).

Este otro programa podría requerir que los propietarios tengan al menos uno de los siguientes para obtener más ayuda:

Los fondos de FEMA para reparaciones de la vivienda de al menos $8,000.00,

O los fondos de FEMA por propiedad personal de al menos $3,500.00,

O, inundando más de un pie.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Updated 9/12/2022

What limits what you can get from FEMA for home repairs? 

Three things limit what FEMA can give you for home repairs.

First, FEMA only tries to get homes back to a “safe, sanitary, and functional condition.” There is more to a home than being safe, sanitary, and functional. But FEMA does not pay for the rest of what makes a home comfortable to us.

Second, FEMA can only pay up to $36,000.00 for home repairs.  This limit was for Hurricane Ida; the amount changes yearly.

Third, mistakes limit what FEMA pays. Somebody along the way does not count some of the repairs needed. Or they don’t realize how much the repair costs. These mistakes can be corrected by filing an appeal.

Who can appeal a FEMA home repair award?

You can appeal if-

  • FEMA awarded home repair aid but you disagree with the amount FEMA will pay.
  • FEMA awarded home repair aid, then you appealed, and your amount is still low.
  • You disagree with FEMA’s decision to deny aid after you appealed your FEMA Home Repair assistance claim.

What are the steps to appeal my FEMA home Repair Award?

  1.  Write an appeal letter explaining why you disagree with FEMA’s decision.
  2. Your appeal letter must include:
    • Your name, current address, phone number
    • Pre-disaster primary residence
    • Registration ID and disaster number (Hurricane IDA =4611)
    • Place and Date of Birth
    • Last 4 of your SSN
  1. Your letter must be either notarized (including a State ID), or it must include the statement:

       “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

  1.  You must sign and date your letter.
  2.  Attach your photographs.

      You should save your photographs in a  black and white format to send  them to FEMA. Make sure the photos are clear.  FEMA only keeps photos in black and white format.

  1. Attach a Contractor Estimate.

 It’s not required, but it’s recommended that you send 2-3 contractor estimates. FEMA needs documents that show them what they did was wrong. Your description of damage and even photographs do not tell them how much money you need for the repairs. An estimate tells them how much money you need.

Your contractor estimate should have the following:

    • The estimate should be on the contractor’s letterhead
    • The contractor should sign the estimate
    • The estimate should include the contractor’s name, phone number, and address
    • The estimate should say how the damages were caused by the federal disaster
    • The estimate should have a line-by-line break down of damages and costs
    • The estimate should include the homeowner’s name

As part of your appeal, you can request a second inspection.

You can request a second inspection in your appeal letter if -

  • FEMA’s award missed damage inside your home or
  • A FEMA inspector did not say you could show them pictures or video on your phone

Is there a deadline to submit my appeal?

Yes, there is a deadline for sending in an appeal.

You have 60 days from the date on your FEMA determination letter to either mail, fax or upload your appeal letter and supporting documents.

But if you missed your 60-day deadline, late appeals may be accepted by FEMA if you show a “good cause.”

Your appeal and supporting documentation can be either mailed, faxed, or uploaded to your FEMA online account using the information below.

  • Mail: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
  • Fax: 800-827-8112, Attention: FEMA
  • FEMA online Account: If your FEMA online account at DisasterAssistance.gov has been created, you can upload documents through the Upload Center. However, if not created, to set up a FEMA online account or to upload documents online, visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

Do you need help appealing your home repair award?

This can all be complicated. Someone experienced in dealing with FEMA can help you know what else is needed for your appeal.

You may qualify for free legal aid from SLLS.

See if you qualify for free legal aid from SLLS, call our Disaster Legal Services Hotline at: 1-800-310-7029, or apply online at our website www.slls.org, by clicking here.

What if my home repairs cost more than FEMA provided?

If your home repairs cost more than FEMA’s  limit, you may be able to apply for other help.

A new program will soon help people rebuild from Ida. It will be called Restore Louisiana.

This other program might require that homeowners have at least one of the following to get more help:

A FEMA award for home repairs of at least $8,000.00,

OR FEMA Award for personal property of at least $3,500.00,

OR, flooding over one foot.

El verano pasado ocurrió el huracán Ida. Algunas personas todavía tienen problemas legales relacionados con el huracán.

Hay buenas noticias: ofrecemos asistencia legal gratuita para ayudar con problemas relacionados con el desastre.

Los abogados de Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (“SLLS”) le podemos ayudar con asuntos legales después de tormentas y otros desastres.

Vea si califica para recibir ayuda con problemas como estos:

  • Problemas para obtener asistencia de FEMA
  • Qué debe hacer si FEMA rechazó su reclamo
  • Averiguando el estatus de su reclamo de FEMA
  • Demostrando que usted es dueño de una casa dañada por Ida
  • Problemas para obtener asistencia o dinero de seguro si el propietario del hogar dañada se murió
  • Problemas de alquiler—desalojos, depósitos de seguridad, y reparaciones atrasadas
  • Problemas con la Asistencia de Desempleo por Desastre
  • Problemas con personas contratadas para arreglar su propiedad
  • Preguntas sobre contratos de reparación de hogar

Tal vez ¡SLLS podría ayudar!

Puede aplicar para asistencia legal gratuita en Internet aquí—https://slls.org/get-help/

Puede aplicar para asistencia legal gratuita por teléfono aquí—1-844-244-7871.

Esté listo para describir qué tipo de problema legal tiene.

Esté listo para responder a algunas preguntas sobre su situación financiera. Eso ayudará a SLLS a averiguar si califica para recibir ayuda legal gratuita.

Información importante para apelar reclamos rechazados por FEMA: Se tiene 60 días para apelar la decisión de FEMA, pero en algunas situaciones es posible que aún pueda enviar su apelación después de 60 días.

Llámanos hoy al SLLS para obtener más información.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Hurricane Ida happened last summer. Some people still have storm-related legal problems.

Good news: there is free legal aid to help.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Assistance (“SLLS”) attorneys help with legal issues after storms and other disasters.

See if you qualify for help with problems like the ones listed here:

  • Problems getting aid from FEMA
  • What to do if FEMA turns down your claim
  • Finding out what happened to your  FEMA claim
  • Proving you own the home damaged by Ida
  • Problems getting aid or insurance if the listed owner(s) of the damaged home died
  • Problems for renters with  security deposits, overdue hurricane repairs, and evictions
  • Problems with Disaster Unemployment Assistance
  • Problems with home contractors or people hired to fix your property
  • Questions about home repair contracts

SLLS may be able to help!

You can apply for free legal aid online here: https://slls.org/get-help/ 

You can call to ask about free legal aid here: 1-844-244-7871.

Be ready to say briefly what kind of legal problem you have.

Be ready to answer some questions about your money situation. That helps SLLS find out if you qualify for free legal help.

Here’s more information about appealing a FEMA decision on your claim.

You have 60 days to appeal FEMA’s decision .

Depending on your situation you  may still be able to appeal for more help after the 60-day deadline.

Contact SLLS today to learn more.