What to do if FEMA wants money back for a hurricane from 6 years ago?

I received letter in the mail from FEMA stating I was ineligible and I have to pay back the money I received from Hurricane Rita. My dorm was destroyed and I had to replace many things and also had to move 15 miles from school with a host family until my college found proper on campus housing. I used the funds for gas, food and to replace lost items. I am appealing but I need to know what the statute of limitations is and what I can do to fight back. FEMA wants receipts from 6 years ago that I don’t have as proof and all I have are bank statements if that.

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


Michael D. Siegel / Siegel & Siegel, P.C.

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I disagree with the answer given.  There is no statute of limitations for these claims.  Also, under the laws governing FEMA, the burden of proof is on you.  Nevertheless, I have found that these agencies will try to be fair if you engage them and not ignore them.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. Most likely the claims for reimburement by FEMA may be time barred in that most statute of limitations in the states of this country where monies are sought under common counts (as in your matter) or breach of contract are for four (4) years.

I would respond to FEMA the best way you you can providing all documentation that you have access to. You need to remember that FEMA has the burden of proving that the money paid you was improperly paid. Keep a copy of your response for future need.

Good luck.

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