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Luisa Mejia, 28, was living in an apartment in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb, when Katrina drove her family out of town. "We left with nothing but important papers and maybe two sets of clothes," she recalls. "We were in Atlanta with no money, living in a home with 40 people." All they got from FEMA was a check for $1,200, which they used to buy clothes and food. Six years later, Mejia can't understand why FEMA would ask residents to pay for its employees' mistakes."
FEMA already has sent letters to thousands of victims of other disasters, asking them to return more than $22 million. Letters to victims of the 2005 hurricanes could go out in a matter of months, but it's too soon to tell how many people will be told to repay or how much money is at stake.
"People used this money to survive," said Davida Finger, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans who represented plaintiffs in the class-action case. "We don't want people to have to give money back that they simply needed for rent and food."
"They'll have to pry it from my dead hands if they try," the 75-year-old said.
As a new hurricane season begins Wednesday, FEMA is working to determine how much money it overpaid or mistakenly awarded to victims of the destructive 2005 hurricane season.
Originally posted by AnteBellum
reply to post by ColoradoJens
I believe the news caster is trying to put a spin on this to get attention.
But from what I heard many victims looted FEMA for thousands claiming to be other people. They achieved this in the chaos that occurred after the storm. Some went in 10-20 times and received 10-20 checks, all in different peoples name or something like that.
I am no fan of FEMA but I also am no fan of thieves that prey upon a system that was stressed. FEMA is there to help people even though they suck greatly at everything they do!
Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that FEMA is seeking payments from more than 5,500 people who were affected by 129 separate disasters since 2005, including floods, tornados, hurricanes and other calamities from Arkansas to American Samoa. The agency is still reviewing records, and more repayment requests could go out soon, including to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
FEMA admits the payments were largely its own fault — the result of employees who misunderstood eligibility rules, approved duplicate assistance for costs that were already covered by insurance or other sources, or made accounting errors. But the agency is still obligated to try to recover the money.
“We are committed to being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars,” spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said.
Originally posted by bekod
reply to post by CaptGizmo
you think you will get it???? get real by this time next year there will not be SSI, and then no SSD as well. it will be self funded. that mean you pay your way in and then collect like a 401k.
Originally posted by Helig
The amount of fraud that went on during Katrina is absolutely staggering and I suspect this story is mostly about them going after fraudulent claims. Every year there are people who apply for aid just to try to grab a few extra dollars; interestingly enough in Chicago the last year applicant numbers dropped insanely after local news stations started running commercials informing the populace that submitting a fraudulent claim to FEMA was in fact a crime that would be pursued.
Originally posted by Asktheanimals
This makes me glad I didn;t get in line for FEMA help when I had the chance to. We got flooded out of our home but only sustained minor damages. I had to replace all the HVAC ductwork and insulation under the house as well as take apart the heat pump and clean the mud out of it.
Our neighbor got a nice check from FEMA that got them a new heat pump and contractors to fix everything under the house that I had to.
I was proud that I didn't have to accept help at the taxpayers expense and I didn't want to feel like I was indebted to the Federal government in any way.
Now I'm on SSDI but at least I paid in to that so I still have my self respect at least.
There's ALWAYS strings attached.
No such thing as "free money", at least not for us "little people".