NewsCovering Kern County


Wildfire Assistance Program application deadline to end on Friday, November 15

 PG&E Truck
Posted at 2:55 PM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 17:55:34-05

The Wildfire Assistance Program, funded by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), has distributed more than $25,000,000 to people displaced by the 2017 Northern California wildfires and the 2018 Camp Fire.

PG&E says the $100 million fund is intended to help those who are uninsured or need assistance with alternate living expenses or other urgent needs.

The deadline to apply for this program is Friday, November 15, 2019.

As of November 12, PG&E says the Wildfire Assistance Program has received more than 16,000 claims for assistance. The program administrator has paid more than 7,000 claims totaling more than $25 million.

The vast majority of the disbursements thus far, according to PG&E officials, have been made to people displaced by the Camp Fire, but those impacted by the 2017 Northern California wildfires are also eligible for assistance and should apply if eligible.

“There is still time to file a claim with the Wildfire Assistance Program. This fund was set up to help people displaced by the 2017 and 2018 fires with unmet needs, particularly people currently without adequate shelter. This is especially critical now, as we move into the colder, wetter winter months. We urge people who need this help to apply for assistance by the deadline this Friday,” said Cathy Yanni, the independent third-party administrator overseeing the program and disbursements.

Officials from PG&E say the Wildfire Assistance Program is separate from the PG&E Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Submitting a claim to the Program is different than submitting a claim in the bankruptcy cases. Anyone who has submitted a claim in the bankruptcy cases may also submit a claim to the Wildfire Assistance Program.

More information, including the Program claim form, is available here.

PG&E officials say applicants can request support for "Basic Unmet Needs," which will provide each qualifying household with $5,000 ($2,500 individually for renters) for needs such as water, food, prescriptions, medical supplies and equipment, infant formula and diapers, personal hygiene items, and transportation fuels beyond what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) covered in the days immediately following the declared disasters.

PG&E is providing $100 million for this fund from the company's cash reserves and says they will not seek cost recovery from customers.