Financial Stability = Less Stress

An older woman tends to a potted plant with a smile on her face

Ms. W came to PLA through a referral from Community Legal Services (CLS). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had seized several years of  Ms. W’s IRS refunds, claiming she wrongfully received disaster assistance after Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Omeed Firouzi, staff attorney with our Taypayer Support Clinic, began gathering information to prove that Ms. W resided in the home for which she received disaster relief, the key issue that determined her eligibility. Through persistent appeals within FEMA’s administrative channels, Omeed’s efforts initially resulted in the recovery of over $7,000 of Ms. W’s seized IRS refunds. However, the battle was far 
from over, as she was still owed over $15,000.

At Ms. W’s hearing with FEMA in August 2022, Ms. W and Omeed were able to make a compelling case that she was entitled to the remaining $15,322 in IRS refunds, and Ms. W was declared eligible for the disaster relief. The hearing’s decision was a triumph: Ms. W was declared eligible for the disaster relief she had received. 

By February 2023, justice was fully served when Ms. W received the remaining $15,322 in IRS funds that had been taken. In total, Omeed’s tireless advocacy enabled Ms. W to recoup over $22,500 in wrongfully seized IRS refunds. PLA’s assistance enabled Ms. W to attain greater financial stability and relieve her of this stressful situation.