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FEMA to forgive millions in overpayments

Oct. 11, 2012 at 10:20 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Almost $95 million in overpayments to people who received aid after Hurricane Katrina and other disasters will not have to be repaid, U.S. officials say.

In a report released Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has granted waivers to about 18,000 people who received $94.9 million by mistake, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans said. The agency rejected almost 1,300 applications for waivers.

The bill authorizing the process was sponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and was aimed at helping people who received overpayments because of FEMA mistakes. In some cases, people who had already returned overpayments will get their money back.

"I'm encouraged that the recoupment waiver process is moving forward and providing resolution for survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita," Landrieu said. "In more than 18,000 cases, Louisianans can now put this part of the recovery in the past and continue rebuilding."

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