NEWS RELEASE: FEMA and HI-EMA, with support from Hawaii County, complete the review of denial letters to Kilauea survivorsPosted on Aug 20, 2019 in Information and News Releases, News Stories
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 20, 2019
FEMA AND HI-EMA, WITH SUPPORT FROM HAWAI’I COUNTY, COMPLETE THE REVIEW OF DENIAL LETTERS TO KĪLAUEA SURVIVORS
HONOLULU — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), with support from the County of Hawai‘i, deployed assistance specialists to Hawai‘i Island on August 5-9 to meet with recipients of disaster aid who received letters indicating they might owe a federal debt following the receipt of FEMA disaster assistance following the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. The Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i provided representation to qualified recipients and identified issues that may be systemic to lower Puna.
This combined effort between the County, State, Federal and Non-Governmental Organizations to address eligibility issues resulted in approximately $170,000 worth of debt cleared. Among the questions about assistance eligibility were documentation of ownership, pre-disaster occupancy and duplication of assistance by insurance.
FEMA sent 69 letters to applicants under consideration for recoupment that they needed to appeal FEMA’s decision within the time stated on their recoupment letter. Five applicants resolved their cases prior to the visit of specialists to the Big Island; the remaining 64 were invited to meet with specialists to review their cases. In total, 35 applicants’ debts were cleared, totaling $153,536.81, and three applicants’ debts were reduced, totaling $16,352.78.
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Public Relations Officer
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency