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Pallone Demands FEMA take Swift Action to Address Unacceptable Delays for Sandy Victims

May 25, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) demanded that FEMA take swift action to process claims for victims of Hurricane Sandy in a meeting with Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in Pallone’s Washington, DC office. At the meeting Wright stated that FEMA would have the unprocessed claims finished by the end of the summer.

The members stressed that the slow pace of the claims review process is unacceptable, and that FEMA needs to act to ensure that New Jersey policy holders are treated fairly and receive just compensation.  They also discussed their concerns over alleged widespread fraud perpetrated by private insurance companies servicing National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

“My constituents and I continue to be outraged by the unacceptable delays in processing claims for Sandy victims.” said Pallone. “It’s been nearly four years since Hurricane Sandy devastated New Jersey and there needs to be a sense of urgency about processing the claims of these victims, who have already suffered enough. FEMA has a responsibility to implement processes to ensure that disaster victims get the resources they are rightfully owed and it is imperative that it take action immediately. Next week starts Hurricane season and we need to make sure that victims of Sandy are in their homes and prepared.”

“I met with Roy Wright of FEMA to discuss improving and expediting the Hurricane Sandy Claims review process for the thousands of New Jerseyans still waiting to receive the support they are owed,” said Pascrell. “While it is upsetting to know that FEMA has only fully processed roughly half of the claims that have been associated with fraud, they are doing it as swiftly and diligently as possible. I commend FEMAs willingness to work with members of Congress and the people of New Jersey in order to address any and all issues that have arisen from flood insurance payment issues. That is why I encourage anyone in my district to let me know if they have an issue so that I can keep FEMA to their word.”

 

Earlier this month, Pallone led a bipartisan letter from members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to Administrator Fugate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting that it take swift action on behalf of those who have suffered from documented, widespread fraud perpetrated by private insurance companies in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The lawmakers asked for an explanation of why it is taking FEMA so long to process the insurance claims of these victims and to detail the steps FEMA is taking to swiftly rectify the situation.

Last May, The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) announced that it would begin a process requested by Pallone and other New Jerseys members of Congress to review flood insurance claims filed by policyholders affected by Hurricane Sandy.  FEMA did this after Pallone and other Members sent a letter to FEMA requesting that it establish a process allowing homeowners to easily file an appeal if they believe they have been a victim of an intentionally altered engineering report.