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FEMA gives deadline for wildfire victims

Tuesday is the last day to apply for state and federal assistance

Posted: January 17, 2009 9:14 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Californians who suffered losses from the November wildfires have until Tuesday to apply for federal and state disaster assistance.

Tuesday is the last day to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at (800) 621-3362 or visit and register for assistance.

The telephone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Once registered, applicants can track the status of their case by calling the same toll-free number or by visiting the Web site.

"Maybe some have not registered because they have fire insurance and assume they are not eligible for FEMA assistance," Mark Neveau, federal coordinating officer for the disaster, said in a statement. "It costs nothing to register and it is the only way to find out if assistance is available."

Neveau said there is no need to wait for an insurance settlement before registering. FEMA will not make a final determination of eligibility until any insurance claims have been settled.

The U.S. Small Business Administration's deadline for filing disaster loan applications is Wednesday.

"Registering with FEMA allows applicants to be considered for assistance from FEMA if they exhaust their insurance and still have eligible unmet needs," Tom Maruyama, deputy state coordinating officer said in a news release.

"It also enables them to be considered for a state supplemental grant from the Department of Social Services if they have eligible unmet needs after insurance and receiving the maximum FEMA grant."


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