Tags: belle harbor | queens | repay | fema | aid

Belle Harbor: Queens Assisted Living Residents Asked to Repay FEMA Aid

Image: Belle Harbor: Queens Assisted Living Residents Asked to Repay FEMA Aid
FEMA is considered a public-facing agency of the Department of Homeland Security. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Monday, 10 Nov 2014 04:40 PM

Residents of Belle Harbor Manor, a Queens, New York, assisted living facility, have been asked by a federal government agency to return funds they received when they were evacuated after Superstorm Sandy.

At least a dozen Belle Harbor residents got letters from the Federal Emergency Management Agency requesting that they repay dollars that were given to them after the storm. The funds were supposed to be used for temporary housing, but the group of residents was moved from one state shelter to another.

Robert Rosenberg, 61, was told he will have to repay $2,486, adding that FEMA said they were retroactively declared ineligible for the money they received two years ago.

"Everyone asked, 'Do we have to pay this back later on? Is it a loan?' They said, 'No. It’s a gift from (President) Obama,'" Rosenberg told The Associated Press. "If I wasn't eligible, then why give it to me in the first place? They knew we were living in an adult home. They knew our shelter was being paid for by the state. It's not like we lied on the application."

FEMA is attempting to collection millions of dollars in aid that went to individuals who weren’t eligible.

The AP reported last month that FEMA had sent out requests for repayment to 850 households asked to return $5.8 million.

FEMA payments made in error are more often made for things like ineligible households because the properties damaged were vacation homes or rentals, or extra assistance given when more than one member of a household applied for help. The agency also recovers payments made that were covered by insurance.

The requested repayments from Superstorm Sandy storm aren't the first time FEMA has gotten publicity for recouping money. In 2011, some government officials were up in arms about FEMA’s attempt to recoup aid given out incorrectly after Hurricane Katrina.

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Residents of Belle Harbor Manor, a Queens, New York, assisted living facility, have been asked by a federal government agency to return funds they received when they were evacuated after Superstorm Sandy.
belle harbor, queens, repay, fema, aid
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2014-40-10
Monday, 10 Nov 2014 04:40 PM
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