Thursday, October 25, 2007

Getting Federal Aid for those affected by the fires.

Federal Aid Programs for California Disaster Recovery

Release Date: October 24, 2007
Release Number: HQ-07-213 Factsheet

How to Apply for Assistance:

* Those in the counties designated for assistance to
affected residents and business owners can begin the
disaster application process by registering online at or by calling
1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the
hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers
are available 24hours a day Monday through Sunday until
further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be
prepared to provide basic information about themselves (name
, permanent address, and phone number), insurance coverage
and any other information to help substantiate losses.

* Application procedures for local governments will
be explained at a series of federal/state applicant
briefings with locations to be announced in the affected
area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects
are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and
other participating federal agencies.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include
as Required:

* Rental payments for temporary housing for those
whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be
provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least
one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if
requested after the initial period based on a review of
individual applicant requirements. (Source: FEMA funded and

* Grants for home repairs and replacement of
essential household items not covered by insurance to make
damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source:
FEMA funded and administered.)

* Grants to replace personal property and help meet
medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious
disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other
federal, state and charitable aid programs. (Source: FEMA
funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent
funded by the state.)

* Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers
who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do
not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed
individuals. (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)

* Low-interest loans to cover residential losses
not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to
$200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal
property, including renter losses. Loans available up to
$1.5 million for business property losses not fully
compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business

* Loans up to $1.5 million for small businesses
that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and
need funds for working capital to recover from the
disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in
combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total
of $1.5 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business

* Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and
agriculture operators to cover production and property
losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service
Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)

* Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for
those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for
filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal,
veterans benefits and social security matters.

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