This past wildfire season, numerous regions and communities were affected by devastating wildfires throughout California. Due to this hardship, CalVet has gathered the following resources to help veterans and their families stay informed and get back on their feet.
We encourage all veterans to visit their local County Veterans Service Offices (CVSOs) for assistance with filing claims, replacing service-related and benefits documents, and receiving job placement assistance. Find more information about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operations and assistance, as well as the status of CVSO offices in areas impacted by wildfires below. A complete list of CVSOs with contact information is available here.
The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and local partners continue to help California wildfire survivors recover and rebuild. To locate housing options, receive aid or file a claim, click here.
The two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Chico and Paradise are now closed.
The Paradise DRC will remain closed, but the Chico DRC will transition to a SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC), and will re-open as a DLOC Tuesday, March 5 at the same location. The new hours of operation for the DLOC will be Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters. Businesses and private nonprofits my borrow up to $2 million dollars for physical damage and economic injury (working capital needs). SBA representatives at the Business Recovery Center will provide one-on-one assistance regarding disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses with completing the SBA application. The SBA is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property.
For more information, please visit www.buttecountyrecovers.org.
Ventura County also opened DRCs in response to the local wildfires and are open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
DRCs are accessible for individuals with disabilities and access and functional needs. They have on-site communication accessibility tools, including amplified listening devices, Video Relay Interpreting and CapTel phones. ASL interpreters are available upon request.
For businesses affected by the wildfires in Ventura County, a Business Recovery Center (BRC) is still open in Camarillo: 4001 Mission Oaks Boulevard | Suite B, Camarillo, CA 93012.
Survivors are encouraged to file insurance claims for damages to their cars, homes and businesses. Survivors who have unmet emergency needs may apply for aid online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. Multi-lingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST.
Businesses and residents can visit sba.gov/disaster or call SBA's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. Deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.
Applicants for disaster assistance should have the following information available:
California residents in Butte, Los Angeles and Ventura counties can find the closest DRC by going online at https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator or texting 43362 with the message DRC and their ZIP Code. Standard message and data rates apply.
FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid or other federal benefits.
If you have a CalVet Home Loan with CalVet fire and hazard insurance and were evacuated or experienced property damage due to fire and/or smoke, please contact York Field Services 24-hour hotline at (800) 626-1613 to begin the claim process. For additional information, call 1-866-421-6978, or click here.
For assistance with billing, please call our customer/account services team at (866) 653-2504.
The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) may be able to assist eligible veterans with accelerated claims processing, temporary housing and suspended debt payments. Veterans who are experiencing chronic homelessness or homelessness due to the fire can find information about housing assistance for veterans.
If you have a VA Home Loan, contact the VA Loan Servicing division at 877-827-3702.
For more information about federal assistance for veterans, refer to:
VBA Benefits Call Center: 1-800-827-1000
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
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