FEMA Tries To Get Back Mistaken Payments To Disaster Victims

Deciding it had been a bit too generous when dishing out disaster aid, FEMA is going around asking for refunds of mistaken payments. Letters demanding repayment within 30 days are coming as a shock to disaster victims who say they needed the money to get back on track and no longer have it.

The AP spoke to an Iowa man who lost his home in a 2008 flood and used $20,000 from FEMA to move from a trailer provided by the agency to a house of his own. In March, FEMA asked for all of it back.

FEMA is hunting for $22 million it distributed to 5,500 victims of 129 disasters since 2005. The errors were due to accounting mishaps, payouts to those whose damages were already covered by insurance and other errors. The story says those who no longer have the money can apply for waivers that set them up with a payment plan or forgive their debt entirely.

FEMA asks victims of natural disasters to give back aid [AP via Detroit Free Press]