N.J. offers those rejected for Sandy aid another chance to appeal

Following a report that found aid was wrongly denied to hundreds of Sandy victims, New Jersey officials have decided to reopen the appeals process.

Fair Share Housing Center said in a report this week that nearly 80 percent of applicants who were declared ineligible for the reconstruction (RREM) program or Homeowner Resettlement grant but appealed were accepted into the program.

Those ruled ineligible who did not appeal will receive letters with instructions on appealing, according to a statement from the state Department of Community Affairs.

Applicants also can find the appeals worksheet by going online.

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“We want anyone who is eligible under the guidelines to have a full and fair opportunity to receive assistance,” said Richard Constable III, DCA commissioner.

The high rate of those deemed ineligible was due to FEMA providing inaccurate damage assessment data, a DCA representative said Thursday.

The extended deadline applies to one program that gives residents a $10,000 incentive to stay in their former county and another that gives grants up to $150,000 to rebuild.

The rebuilding program already has a long waiting list.

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