According to Susan Solomon, information officer for the local DRC, Bradley County’s DRC at 340 Church St. will close at the end of the business day Thursday at 6 p.m.
Cumberland, Hamilton, McMinn/Polk and Monroe counties DRCs are also slated to shut down.
Four other Tennessee county DRCs will begin shutting down Sunday.
“Applicants should not be discouraged if they receive a letter indicating they are ineligible. FEMA may simply need additional information or documentation,” according to information from the agency.
Solomon said all paperwork, including any Small Business Administration applications should be completed.
“Under federal law, FEMA cannot duplicate assistance that comes from insurance benefits or other government sources, but FEMA’s initial determination of ineligibility may change if private insurance or other government assistance is not sufficient to cover all eligible damage,” according to agency information.
“For example, many applicants may still be awaiting a settlement from their insurance company. FEMA letters provide an explanation of what steps need to be taken to change the status of a disaster assistance request. Applicants are encouraged to call the FEMA helpline or to take the letter to a disaster recovery center for help with the appeals process.
“Applicants have 60 days from the date of the letter to file an appeal. FEMA looks at a number of things to determine if a survivor can receive disaster assistance.”
The agency must be able to:
n Verify an applicant’s identity. If they have lost an ID during the storm, disaster recovery staff can make referrals regarding replacement documents.
n Verify damages. If they believe the inspector didn’t see all of their damages, they can call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or visit a disaster recovery center.
n Verify home occupancy. Applicants need to provide proof of occupancy, such as a utility bill. They can bring the bill to a disaster recovery center, where recovery specialists will help them.
Survivors may also receive a determination letter from FEMA about their eligibility if they missed an appointment with an inspector or failed to return paperwork to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Survivors do not have to accept a loan if one is offered, but completing the loan application process may open the door to other kinds of assistance. The deadline is May 15.
Survivors who sustained damage in the storms and have not registered with FEMA are urged to do so, even if they have insurance.
The Bradley County Disaster Recovery Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.
If possible, before visiting a disaster recovery center, people with storm losses should register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), which is video relay service accessible.
Applicants using TTY can call 1-800-462-7585. Help is available in most languages and lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Survivors can also register by computer online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, according to FEMA.
To date, more than 650 applications have been approved statewide.