Family with special needs member still waiting for insurance after Irma

The mother says her insurance ran out, which is problematic because her son has cerebral palsy.

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - A desperate Orange Park mother is waiting for her insurance to pay her claim so she can rebuild her home to accommodate her son with special needs.

Sherri Vardas says she’s at standstill. The home that she and her son, Collin, live at were flooded during Hurricane Irma and they are still in the process of rebuilding their home. They had to cut into dry wall, rip out flooring and there’s still plenty of work left to be done.

"This is what we live in every day, every hour, chaos," Vardas said.

But, they've only been able to fix one room in the house at a time because they're paying out-of-pocket. She says the insurance money just isn't getting back to them fast enough, which is problematic because her son has cerebral palsy.

"Because of his special needs, we don't have anywhere to go," Vardas said.

Collin is in a wheelchair and requires a lift to get in and out of bed, as well as a special shower. His room is almost finished, but still needs work.

"We have to keep him isolated in there away from all the debris and the dust and everything," she said.

She says she can't continue fixing the house until the flood insurance pays an advance on her claim.

"They expect us to pay on time we expect them to pay out on time," she said.

Vardas says when she called the National Flood Insurance Program. It told her she would receive an advance in the mail the next day. Two weeks went by and she says when she called again, an examiner on the case apologized and told her they were still reviewing her request and said a check would be sent overnight to her on Monday.

First Coast News called the insurance company to get an update on her check, but haven't received a call back.

Vardas says she needs the money to continue to repair thousands of dollars worth of damage.

"We just want to get our life back in order," she said.

If you home was damaged during Irma and you still haven't applied for assistance, there is time. You have until November 9 in Florida and November 14 in Georgia. Click here to apply for disaster assistance.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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