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FEMA Pays Sandy Victims As Claim Deadline Approaches

Patrick Semansky/AP

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has begun making new payments to victims of Superstorm Sandy after allegations that thousands of homeowners in New York and New Jersey were not paid what they were due from the National Flood Insurance Program.

The deadline for Superstorm Sandy victims to apply for their flood insurance claims to be reviewed is about a month away.

Melissa Luckman, of Touro College’s Disaster Law Clinic, said many homeowners on Long Island might be reluctant to apply to have their claims reviewed because they’ve already received money from a grant program in New York State that uses federal money to help people rebuild from Sandy.

The program is called New York Rising. Luckman said the amount of money people received from New York Rising was based on how much money they received from the National Flood Insurance Program.

“If someone got $50,000 up front for flood insurance, say New York Rising gave them $100,000 for repairs of their home, and now they go back into the FEMA review process and they get an extra $20,000, there’s a chance they might not be able to keep that $20,000 and that $20,000 would have to go back to the state,” Luckman said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the federal government to grant a waiver for Superstorm Sandy victims to allow them to keep money they received from New York Rising if they do decide to have their flood insurance claims reviewed.

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