On Wednesday May 27, 2015, at 5:30pm, Touro Law Center‘s T LC HeartDisaster Relief Clinic, in collaboration with Adopt A House and The Office of United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will be hosting a FLOOD INSURANCE CLINIC: UNDERSTANDING THE FEMA SANDY CLAIMS REVIEW PROCESS.

In early 2015, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agreed to reopen claims filed by nearly 142,000 homeowners whose properties were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.  The FEMA review pertains only to those claimants who did not litigate. Please join us for a presentation that will walk homeowners through the FEMA Sandy Claims Review Process, along with the variable factors that must be taken into consideration prior to entering into the review process, such as the overlapping duplication of benefits analysis with New York Rising.

May 27, 2015, 5:30pm-8:00pm

5:30pm-6:00pm: Sign-in and welcoming

6:00pm-7:00pm: FEMA Claims Review Process

  • Documentation to be submitted
  • How to organize receipts, invoices, proposals
  • How to organize a contents claims
  • Discussing the HUD NYR DOB analysis that each person must be aware of

7:00pm-8:00pm: Q&A Session

Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center Auditorium

225 Eastview Drive, Central Islip, NY  11722

For More Information about the Flood Insurance Clinic, contact:

Disaster Clinic Hotline: (631) 761-7198

visit www.facebook.com/TLCDisasterRelief


Posted in Sandy News

Touro’s Disaster Relief Clinic Invited to Senate Panel on Hurricane Sandy Task Force Meeting

On April 28, 2015, the Disaster Relief Clinic traveled to Washington DC as they were invited to participate in the first meeting of the Sandy Task Force to examine problems within the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) arising in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and develop recommendations for short- and long-term fixes.

Members of the task force include the four Senators from New Jersey and New York, their staff, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, FEMA officials, outside experts, Sandy victims, and other stakeholders.  Participating in the meeting were: Sens. Menendez, Booker, Schumer and Gillibrand; FEMA Admin. Fugate; Assistant Professor Benjamin Rajotte, Touro Law School (N.Y.); Executive Dir. Sue Marticek, Ocean County (N.J.) Long-term Recovery Group; George Kasimos, founder of Sandy victims’ advocacy group “Stop FEMA Now”; and Assistant General Manager Denise Neibel, Breezy Point (N.Y.) Cooperative.

Along with the Clinic Staff came two clinic students Whitney Steiner and Ambika Raghunandan, who were able to experience the Sandy Task Force meeting first-hand.

Ms. Raghunandan expressed that in the midst of all the chaos between Hurricane Sandy victims and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, there seems to be some hope for those that have been left homeless or those struggling to keep their home because they have depleted all or most of their savings in order to hold on to their property; or what is left of it.

Recognition from both the Senate and FEMA proves that Touro Law Center’s Disaster Relief Clinic has played an important role in seeking justice for homeowners who truly deserve it and who have been inundated with circular answers to their concerns. We have forced a “meeting of the minds” to create a system that works equally for the people and the government in times of crisis. The not-for-profit community, especially Touro’s Disaster Relief Clinic should be held in high regard. Benjamin Rajotte, Melissa Luckman, and Dan Strafer, all attorneys who go above and beyond for their clients’ best interests, have propelled Touro’s Disaster Relief Clinic into national reverence.

Clinic student Whitney Steiner describes her “trip to Washington D.C. with the Disaster Relief Clinic was by far the cherry on top of an amazing clinical experience”.  It is not every day you are handed the opportunity to meet four U.S. senators, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (“FEMA”) Administrator and Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance, and several representatives from other non-profit groups united in the common goal of resolving what many have referred to as the “storm after the storm.” The meeting itself was a true learning experience.  Having spent the semester with the Clinic researching the issues discussed, looking for possible solutions, and assisting Sandy victims in a virtual tug-of-war over funds wrongfully denied, recouped, or in dispute with various parties, I was fascinated to see it fuse into one bitter-sweet conversation pushing towards a solution.  Looking around the room, I saw mixed emotions such as tears streaming down victims’ faces, heads alternating between nods and shaking in disagreement, and occasional bursts of excitement as hope for relief seeped in.

The meeting also induced a revelation of how important the work done by the Disaster Relief Clinic really is, receiving praise from the senators as well as from FEMA.  I am not only proud and honored to have been a part of this experience, but extremely thankful that I was given such an opportunity.  After spending a semester working with this group of individuals and seeing them in action during our trip to D.C., I can describe them as no less than assets to the Touro Law Center learning experience. It is her hope that the incoming Disaster Relief Clinic students will take advantage of opportunities such as this and have the chance to see that the hard work they do is worth the reward of helping those in need.

— Melissa H. Luckman, Staff Attorney

Posted in Sandy News

Please take a moment to view the new edition of our Clinics Newsletter

Clinic Newsletter


Posted in Sandy News

Melissa Luckman of Touro Law Center’s Disaster Relief Clinic speaks on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy

The American Red Cross announced more than $2 million in additional funding to members of the Long Island Long Term Recovery Group who are helping people affected by Sandy on Long Island recover. Touro Law Center and other leaders of nonprofit organizations will also highlight the collaborative efforts being made to assist Sandy survivors, which will continue as long as Long Islanders are navigating the recovery process



Here is the Newsday coverage


Posted in Sandy News

ICC Flood Insurance Update

An ICC claim is an “Increased Cost of Compliance” claim that allows for up to $30,000 for covered expenses associated with flood-mitigation expenses, commonly including elevating or demolishing a home. In our June 2014 update (linked on the right side of this blog), we advised checking back on this website for any guidance from FEMA in response to our inquiries about the deadline/s to submit an ICC “Proof of Loss” and supporting documentation, and a list of supporting documentation. We have not received guidance from FEMA on this issue. In our experience, ICC has been paid administratively by the insurer/NFIP Direct Servicing Agent without much hassle, and the NY Rising program has often exceeded that amount of coverage in providing elevation costs as part of repairs or allowing for elevated reconstruction.

However, to be sure that you get the flood insurance ICC claim in on time and properly, we strongly advise:

(1) sending in to the correct address for your insurer (not your agent/broker) — or to the correct address for NFIP Direct Servicing Agent (if you have a “NFIP Direct” policy) — the the separate ICC Proof of Loss form (FEMA form 86-0-10, available here); send by fax and by express mail/FedEx with tracking, and confirm delivery by fax transmission and mail,

(2) making sure that it is completed fully, and dated, signed and sworn by you as the policyholder,

(3) attaching all necessary supporting documentation (because we do not have guidance from FEMA, it is necessary to contact your insurer/NFIP Direct Servicing Agent to help identify necessary documents),

(4) so that it is received by the insurer/NFIP Direct Servicing Agent before the end of the general proof of loss deadline as stated in our June 2014 update.

More general information by FEMA about ICC is here.

Posted in Uncategorized

Be Resilient

As catastrophic storms become more common on Long Island, it is important to learn the proper steps to take to help mitigate potential damage. The below link from CBS news outlines ways to financially prepare for a large storm.


Posted in Sandy News