FEMA begins sending new payments to shortchanged Sandy victims

 In May, demonstrators rallied outside the New Jersey State House in Trenton to protest the slow pace of recovery aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy. After a review, FEMA has started sending new payments to those who were shortchanged by the National Flood Insurance Program. (AP file  photo)

In May, demonstrators rallied outside the New Jersey State House in Trenton to protest the slow pace of recovery aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy. After a review, FEMA has started sending new payments to those who were shortchanged by the National Flood Insurance Program. (AP file photo)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending new payments to Sandy victims in New Jersey who were underpaid by the National Flood Insurance Program.

Only a handful of checks have gone out so far, said FEMA spokesman Rafael Lemaitre, but policyholders will get the full amount they deserve.

“We want them to have the confidence to know that we’re going to look at each case individually,” he said Tuesday. “We’re going to assign an adjuster, the same adjuster, to follow you through the entire process, to make sure that by the end of it — if you were underpaid for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter what that reason was — that you get every dollar you’re owed under your policies.”

Many homeowners did not get flood insurance payments for siding that was affected by Sandy floodwaters, said George Kasimos, the founder of Stop FEMA Now, an organization of Sandy victims.

“If your siding got touched, what they generally did was, they said just hose it down. Now that’s incorrect. You have to take the siding off, you have to take the plywood off, you have to take the insulation off and reinstall it.

“It’s category three water. It’s sewage and oil and salt. That’s all bad. That’s got to get redone,” he said. “You got to get paid to redo that.”

Many homeowners didn’t get flood insurance payments to replace water-damaged wiring.

“We’re going to start having what we call ‘Sandy fires’ where people who did not replace their wiring underneath their home — it’s going to go on fire,” Kasimos said. “So you’re covered under your flood insurance. You’re most probably not paid for those items, and you got to go back and open up your claim.”

More than 10,000 homeowners already have asked FEMA to review their claims. The deadline to apply for a review is Sept. 15.

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