Disaster Assistance and Recovery

Most Frequently Viewed Resources

If you cannot afford the filing fee or other court costs, you may qualify to have these fees and costs waived by the court.

Ask questions and get answers, in real time, right here on the Internet, from live law librarians throughout California.

Whatever the reason, you have the right to represent yourself, to be your own lawyer in all cases in California.

This section will give you general guidelines for how to best prepare yourself for court.

The Constitution; Executive and Administrative Laws; County, Appellate, Supreme Court, and Federal Districts; State Legislation; and Legal Guides.

Looking for Benefits? Answer questions to find out which government benefits you may be eligible to receive.

Tips, tools and resources for navigating your insurance claim settlement for fire, smoke, heat, earthquake, car, water, flood, mold, structural damage, renters, hurricanes, hail, businesses, and theft.

Good faith; prompt, honest, and timely communications; fair claims; cooperative investigation; additional living expenses; adjusting and paying your dwelling claim; contractors; fair depreciation; examination under oath; and complaints.

This handbook provides an overview of some of the issues that individuals, families, and small businesses may face as a result of the wildfires that swept Northern California in October 2017. Please note that this handbook is current through October 20, 2017 — but by the time you read this material, the federal, state, and county governments may have enacted additional measures to assist victims of the fires that may affect some of the information we present.

Follow the latest updates and announcements from the California Office of Emergency Services.

Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are now
available for workers and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or had their work
hours substantially reduced as a result of the wildfires in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa,
Nevada, Orange, Sonoma, and Yuba counties.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), also referred to as Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance, is a federal program that provides temporary financial assistance to individuals unemployed as a result of a “major disaster” declared by the president.

Alphabetical Listing of Resources

Find out how to replace vital documents, such as birth certificates, Social Security cards, and more. 1) Replace Lost or Stolen Identification (ID) Cards; 2) Vital Records Documents Issued in the United States; 3) How to Replace Your Lost or Destroyed Vital Documents; 4) Get a Copy of Your Birth Certificate; 5) Request a Replacement Marriage Certificate; 6) Request a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate Divorce Decrees and Certificates

Free legal advice now available for survivors of the Northern California fires. Call the legal hotline: 415-575-3120. Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m -5:30 p.m. Expanded hours starting 10/23 to 8:00 p,m, Monday through Thursday.

Here you will find first steps after a fire and tips, tools and resources for recovering from a partial or total wildfire loss. Our main focus is on helping you navigate your insurance claim toward a full, fair and prompt settlement, but we also offer guidance on emotional recovery, debris removal, temporary living arrangements, government aid, construction issues, hiring professional help, and deciding how and if you will repair, rebuild or buy a replacement home.

Mediation is an informal, voluntary, non-binding process for conducting settlement negotiations between you and your insurance company.

Asset Management, Bank Accounts, Consumer Loans, Credit Scores, Credit Cards, Insurance, Mortgages, and Regulations.

Major disaster delcaration delcared on Oct 10, 2017. Apply for federal assistance with FEMA. Designated counties (Individual assistance): Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Sonoma, Yuba

You can also call 1 (800) 621 - 3362.

Find out how to acquire assistance and government benefit from FEMA's website.

BayLegal provides some answers for your questions about assistance, benefits and housing. Residents who suffered damage or losses from the fires that began on October 8, 2017 may register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Register by applying online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by phone at 1-800-621-3362 or the TTY number 1-800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week

BayLegal is available to assist and will give priority to emergency needs arising from the fires, including: Emergency public benefits such as D-SNAP to access food and CalWORKs, FEMA benefits and claims process, Housing questions specifically related to the fires (ex. ongoing obligations,
getting possessions, etc), Insurance issues, Employment issues, Missing identity documents, Connecting to local resources and statewide pro bono assistance

For more detailed information and legal advice regarding health access, contact Bay Area Legal Aid’s Health Consumer Center (HCC): 855-693-7285, Monday - Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
For Emergency Care, you cannot be refused care at a hospital if you have an emergency medical condition even if you don’t have health insurance or proof of health insurance.

Public meeting notice for Overview for DR-4344 & DR-4353 Residents Impacted by 2017-18 Wildfires, Flooding, Mudflows and Debris Flows

Special tax law provisions may help taxpayers and businesses recover financially from the impact of a disaster, especially when the federal government declares their location to be a major disaster area.

People with losses from the fires in 7 counties can apply for one month of food benefits on a EBT card you can use at authorized grocery stores. Covered fires include those in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba counties. Grocery stores in those counties and six others (Contra Costa, Marin, Orange, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter) can allow Disaster CalFresh benefits to be used to purchase hot or prepared food, in addition to regularly allowable foods.

Crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Text TalkWithUs to 66746 or call (800) 985 - 599.

You can claim a disaster loss in the taxable year the disaster occurred or in the taxable year immediately before the disaster occurred.

A Disaster Recovery Center is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where survivors may go for information about our programs or other disaster assistance programs, and to ask questions related to your case.

The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) gives food assistance to low-income households with food loss or damage caused by a natural disaster. You can also call the state hotline 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD).

Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims, including claims for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), can be filed online, by phone, by mail, or by fax. The fastest and easiest option for individuals to file claims for UI benefits is online using eApply4UI.

Topics such as: Disaster Unemployment Assistance eligibility, benefit payments, necessary information to apply for DUA, and deadlines.

Dropped after a total loss from a declared disaster, partial loss or second renewal, and not having "defensible space".

The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) helps farmers and ranchers to repair damage to farmlands caused by natural disasters and to help put in place methods for water conservation during severe drought. The ECP does this by giving ranchers and farmers forest.

The Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) helps the owners of non-industrial private forests restore forest health damaged by natural disasters. The EFRP does this by authorizing payments to owners of private forests to restore disaster damaged forest.

EWP helps people and conserves natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, drought, windstorms, and other natural occurrences.

These requirements are not subject to waiver during natural disasters and recovery efforts.

Information on D-Snap and Snap eligibility and benefits

Information about income assistance availability after a major disaster, including eligibility for Disaster Unemployment Assistance and Unemployment Compensation.

FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disasters who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs

What should my first steps be? What does the Additional Living Expense (ALE) part of my policy cover? Will my insurer cover the cost if I live in a trailer during reconstruction? Who is responsible for clearing the debris from my lot and is that covered under my policy? How can I get a fair claim settlement? What are my legal rights in California? The insurance company will only pay according to its "pricing guidelines"?

Find open shelters, contact and locate loved ones, and post-emergency recovery.

Why can"t I just deposit and use my insurance checks? Will the mortgage company pay me interest on the insurance proceeds they are holding?

Use this disasterassistance.gov's resource to help you find assistance and apply online.

Rebuilding after a natural disaster. How to check a contractor's license status and history.

Depending on your situation, you may need to hire a public adjuster, a lawyer, a construction estimator, an industrial hygienist or other type of expert.

Housing counselors throughout the country can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues.

National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System, National Emergency Child Locator Center, Unaccompanied Minors Registry, and American Red Cross Safe and Well.

The Individual Assistance division of FEMA is here to support your recovery from a major disaster and help you through the process of applying for assistance.

You can use the interactive interview below to create a FEMA Appeal letter and File Request letter that you can save to your computer and print out. You will be asked a series of questions, and then your answers are used to tailor your documents. This is a free and secure service provided by LawHelp Interactive.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and the California Department of Insurance (CDI) invite consumers impacted by the recent wildfires to attend an informative insurance workshop. This is free and open to the public.

NAP provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters.

Check out mortgage resources available for victims of disasters to see what you are eligible for.

Your home; adjusters and contractors; when picking a contractor; when you get your settlement; creditors, bills and budgeting; and watch out for fraud.

Who to contact to replace important documents that are lost during a disaster.

Negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, mediation, litigation, and arbitration.

The resources listed here are meant to provide legal resources to those who have been directly affected by a disaster.

Sample letters for claim and proof of loss forms, example claim documents, and sample damage reports and documentation.

Communicating with your insurance company is an incredibly important part of the claims process. The insurance company may try to handle your claim by telephone, with no records.

Access services provided by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rural Development agencies.

Access services provided by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rural Development agencies.

This worksheet has been designed to help you and your parents work together to locate these documents early. By having this conversation, all of you will gain the peace of mind that important information is at your fingertips.

Information about housing assistance availability after a major disaster, including eligibility for emergency housing assistance.