FEMA & Advocacy

From FEMA Answers

During the week of April 14, 2006, FEMA began a practice of refusing to talk with advocates assisting FEMA applicants. In early May 2006, advocates were able to resolve this problem informally with FEMA. If you have problems with FEMA refusing to talk with an advocate, leave a note on the discussion tab at the top of this page.


FEMA began refusing to speak to "designated representatives" whether the authorization was faxed in or given verbally in a joint phone call. Not only will FEMA no longer speak to an applicant's representative, the FEMA operators will not speak to anyone, including the applicant, with the call set on speakerphone, so the advocate is not permitted to listen in. Accordingly we can no longer assist evacuees with their FEMA applications because the applicants do not understand what the operators are telling them.

The FEMA operators have made the following statements:

  • "We are not permitted to speak to anyone on a speakerphone. Disconnect the speakerphone now."
  • "I cannot speak to you on a speakerphone. I can only speak