Life is still uncertain for many New Yorkers who have yet to recover from Hurricane Sandy, as many are still trying to navigate their way through all the insurance and government paperwork, sometimes with frustrating results. NY1's Erin Clarke sat down with one couple who say they're not in good hands with their insurance company.
The DeGracias feel like they're in limbo.
Five months after Hurricane Sandy, their beach bungalow is uninhabitable, so they're homeless, staying with a friend while they battle their insurance company and try to get any possible government aid.
"What the insurance company wants to give us, and the reality of the situation, what we could fix the house for, there's an ocean between the two," said Sharon DeGracia.
The body of water that their home sits on, Eastchester Bay, looked like an ocean swallowing up their property during the storm.
The home is now stripped to its skeleton. Still, every day, they're discovering more damage.
"Our walls are leaning outward. Mold is an issue. We don't even know what the floor underlayment is," said Nelson DeGracia. "There's a lot of water damage down there, as you can see as well, that has to be replaced before we even begin putting up any sheet rock. There are cables and things like here behind the wall that, well, they don't work."
"It's like an onion," said Sharon DeGracia. "The more you take off a layer, the deeper it gets."
The DeGracias said an Allstate adjuster showed up two days after the storm, but didn't submit their paperwork until after Thanksgiving, a month later. The DeGracias said they were given $21,000 in January, but local contractors said the work needed will cost about $60,000 total.
They appealed, and they said that last month, they were told that a new adjuster was being assigned.
Then came the icing on the cake.
"They tell me they've lost all my documentation and I have to start from scratch," said Sharon DeGracia.
The DeGracias had some contracting work done, but when the money stopped coming in, the work ceased. They've been trying to do some on their own, but they fear they won't be able to finish and move back into their home.
"It's not an easy thought to sleep with every night, to know that I may not be able to come back here at all, something which I had as an American dream," Nelson DeGracia said.
The DeGracias said that short of prayer, they don't know where to turn. They're thinking about looking for a lawyer.