Beginning next month, thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims will begin receiving letters asking whether they want to reopen damage claims if they feel their initial claim was wrongfully denied or they don't believe they received a fair settlement.

Beach club destroyed by Superstorm Sandy lays on the sea wall in Sea Bright, N.J. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

According to NJ Advance Media, approximately 141,800 claimants whose property was damaged during Hurricane Sandy are expected to receive letters, a top federal Emergency Management Agency official said Tuesday.

Brad Kieserman, the deputy associate administrator who oversees the federal flood insurance program, said the letters will begin going out in May to homeowners who have not challenged their claims in court, NJ Advance Media reported.

The decision to allow claims to be re-opened comes after numerous instances where insurance companies were shown to have altered engineering reports so claims could be fraudulently denied. In March, Craig Fugate, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) met with U.S Senators Robert Menendez and Corey Booker of New Jersey and Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York ti discuss the issue. They announced that the potential for corrective action, already sought in litigation for 2,200 Sandy-related claims, would soon be extended to some 144,000 insurance claims.
Last November, a federal judge ordered that engineering reports used by insurance companies to deny claims be released to New York homeowners who had filed lawsuits challenging the denials. As documents were released, lawyers for some of those homeowners began discovering that documentation of damage from Superstorm Sandy flooding had been edited out of original engineering inspection reports.

Exclusive reports by New Jersey 101.5 revealed how the pattern of fraudulently altered reports was mirrored in the Garden State.

According to the NJ Advance Media article, while property owners "will have to supply some proof of their losses if they are challenging their payments, Kieserman acknowledged that it might be impossible to produce original documents like receipts so many years after the hurricane. In such cases, signed affidavits might be acceptable."

David Matthau contributed to this report.