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California

Deadline for Woolsey and Hill fire victims to request aid is extended

WEST HILLS, CA-NOVEMBER 12, 2018: A number of homes on Hitching Post Ln. in Bell Canyon, including
A Bell Canyon home lies in ruins after the Woolsey fire.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Federal officials have extended until Jan. 31 the deadline for California wildfire survivors to register for federal aid.

Residents whose homes were damaged by the Woolsey or Hill fires have until that date to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials said.

Victims of the Los Angeles County and Ventura County fires, which torched more than 100,000 acres and destroyed thousands of structures, may be eligible for grants, rental assistance or help with home repairs.

Residents can apply to receive FEMA aid online or at Disaster Recovery Centers in Malibu and Agoura Hills.

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The federal grants do not have to be repaid, and assistance is not taxable and does not affect eligibility for benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid, according to FEMA.

Applicants should be ready to provide their Social Security number, the address of the damaged home, a description of the damage, bank account and routing numbers and information about their insurance coverage.

Before visiting a Disaster Recovery Center in person, residents are encouraged to apply at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily.

In addition, Ventura County residents have until Monday and Los Angeles County residents have until Jan. 28 to apply for a state program, CalRecycle, which assists in removing debris from the two fires.

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Doug Beach, a manager for Ventura County’s administrative and community services, said 150 homes were completely or partially burned in Ventura County, and 94 people have applied to the CalRecycle program.

As part of the program, crews assist in removing hazardous materials, such as propane and gas tanks, before clearing away debris, and eventually, the home’s foundation, he said.

Residents who don’t have insurance can receive debris removal aid at no cost, and those with insurance must reimburse the state for whatever amount their insurance company covers, Beach said.

Ventura County residents can apply for the CalRecycle program at VenturaCountyRecovers.org or in person at the County Government Center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Los Angeles residents can find the application online.

alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

Twitter: @r_valejandra


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