FEMA Reclaiming Aid

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has waived the repayment of nearly $95 million that the agency believes was improperly paid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma

According to a report by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, FEMA also denied 1,293 requests totaling $6.3 million in improper payments and has recouped $1.3 million from applicants who got improper disaster payments.

At least some of the overpayments were due to FEMA employees' own mistakes, ranging from clerical errors to failing to interview applicants, according to congressional testimony. But FEMA says it is required by law to make an effort to recover improper payments, even if the recipient wasn't at fault.

Last December, Congress approved legislation that would allow FEMA to waive many of the debts.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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