Padilla Encourages Californians Impacted by Wildfires to Apply Now for Federal Assistance

Application deadline is October 25, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) urged homeowners, renters, and business owners who sustained uninsured or underinsured damage to their property from the 2021 wildfires in Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Tehama, and Trinity counties—including those impacted by the Dixie Fire—to apply for federal disaster assistance. The last day to apply for disaster and rental assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is October 25, 2021.


“As we continue to face the devastating impacts of prolonged and more severe wildfire seasons, Californians should know that federal assistance is available through FEMA and SBA to aid in their recovery efforts,” said Senator Alex Padilla. “I encourage all eligible homeowners, renters, and business owners to take advantage of these resources by applying for these relief programs before the October 25th deadline.”

Assistance from FEMA may include funds for temporary housing while impacted Californians are unable to live their homes, such as rental assistance or reimbursements for hotel costs; funds to support the repair or replacement of owner-occupied homes that serve as the household’s primary residence, including privately-owned access routes, such as driveways, roads, or bridges; and funds for disaster-caused expenses and serious needs, such as repair or replacement of personal property and vehicles, funds for moving and storage, medical, dental, child care and other miscellaneous items. Survivors of the recent California wildfires who are receiving rental assistance for temporary housing through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program may get additional help if needed.

Survivors are encouraged to file insurance claims for damage to their homes, personal property, businesses and vehicles before they apply for FEMA assistance. The easiest way to apply is online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Survivors who may need to request an accommodation or have additional questions can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. PT, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

Applicants for disaster assistance should have the following information prior to registration: Social Security number; address of the damaged primary residence; insurance coverage information; current telephone number and mailing address; and bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds.

For disaster damage to private property that is not fully covered by insurance, SBA may be the best option. Homeowners may be eligible for a disaster loan up to $200,000 for primary residence structural repairs or rebuilding. SBA may also be able to help homeowners and renters with up to $40,000 to replace important personal property, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may be eligible to borrow up to $2 million for repair costs and disaster related working capital needs.

For information on the SBA process, visit DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing can call 800-877-8339.

Survivors should update contact information as soon as possible because FEMA may need to reach them to perform virtual home inspections or get additional information. FEMA encourages survivors to request direct deposits of disaster assistance to their financial institution to expedite payments. Survivors should let FEMA know as soon as possible of any changes to their mailing or banking information.

Disaster assistance is not a substitute for insurance and cannot compensate for all losses caused by a disaster. The assistance is intended to meet basic needs and supplement disaster recovery efforts.

For more information about California’s recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4610 and CalOES’ wildfirerecovery.caloes.ca.gov.

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