News from Representative Jared Huffman

       

       

Dear friends, 

My heart goes out to all who have been affected by this firestorm, the worst in our state’s recorded history. I have been along the fire lines throughout Sonoma and Mendocino, and visited with many of you since the fires began — and I know there is much more we will do together as we rebuild. From the Redwood Valley and Potter Valley Complex fires in Mendocino, to the Pocket Fire in Geyserville, to the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa… there are no words to describe the depth and scale of the devastation.

I am extremely grateful for the first responders, the thousands of men and women who have answered the call from across the country to protect homes and save lives, and the thousands more who are volunteering and serving in the affected communities. The community response to this disaster has been fast and large — and really inspiring. As all of these response efforts continue, my office, and the offices of my colleagues in state and federal government, are here to help you navigate the available government recovery programs and services.

  • If you need help replacing missing Social Security cards, passports, other federal documents, or lost or damaged medals for veterans—call us.
  • If you are looking for your mail—we can help.
  • If you are a farmer, rancher, vineyard owner, or other producer, or if you are in another specialized industry that might need targeted assistance—please don’t hesitate to ask.

Most importantly: If you aren’t sure where to go to solve your issues, please call or visit my offices. If we aren’t the right place to get you what you need, my staff will guide you to the state and local resources too.

My staff and I are here to help—indeed, we are eager to help—in any way we can.

It is going to take years to recover from these fires, and we are here for the long haul. As your representative in Congress, I will work with my colleagues and government partners to make sure that rebuilding efforts in California are fully supported, just as that support must be there for all the other communities around the country who are dealing with natural disasters. 

To get you back on the path to recovery, I wanted to share some resources that I hope you will find helpful: 

Getting Started 

If you were impacted by the fires…

  • Begin by applying for federal programs online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling 800-621-3362.  This will allow you to find a range of federal assistance programs that applies to your situation: shelter, business loans, IRS disaster relief, FEMA repair funds, and more.
    • Español: www.disasterassistance.gov/es o Llame al 800-621-3362
  • Visit a Local Assistance Center 

Sonoma County
Press Democrat Building
427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

Dates/Hours:
Oct. 14 - Oct. 22
9a-7p

Hanna Boys Center
17000 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476

Dates/Hours
Oct. 17 -TBD
11a-7p

 

Mendocino County
Mendocino College
1000 Hensley Creek Road, Building 6220
Ukiah

Dates/Hours:
Oct. 17 - Oct. 31
10a-7p

 

If you want to help…

If you don’t have access to your important documents…

Document

Who to Contact for Replacement

EBT Card

California’s CalFresh is part of the federal program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as Food Stamps). Lost EBT card replacements – Call 877-328-9677 right away, or contact your local county social services worker.

Birth and Death Certificates

Birth and Death Certificates-California Department of Public Health or online atwww.cdph.ca.govor by calling 916-445-2684. $25 fee for replacement.

Lost Green Card

Go towww.uscis.govand complete the Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, and file it online or by mail. Call 800-375-5283 to check the status of your application.

California Driver License

Visit a California DMV office to complete an application. Replacement license forms must be delivered in person. For more information, call 800-777-0133.

Insurance information

The California Department of Insurance has resources available to help. Call their Hotline: 800-927-4357 or visit the Department’s website for tips and advice: https://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/140-catastrophes/WildfireResources.cfm

Social Security Card

Social Security 800-772-1213 or www.ssa.gov

If you don’t know where to get your mail: 

For information on temporary mail locations: http://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/welcome.htm

We can assist you with any of these federal forms and processes; ensure that federal agencies are providing appropriate services; help you replace missing Social Security cards, passports, and other federal documents, or lost or damaged medals for veterans; and guide you to any other state or federal services you may need. 

Phone: (415) 258-9657

 

In person:

999 Fifth Ave.
Suite 290
San Rafael, CA 94901

If you are not able to call or visit in person, please email rep.huffman@mail.house.gov and we can assist you that way.

Major Disaster Assistance Programs Explained

FEMA:
At the request of Governor Brown and our bipartisan northern California congressional delegation, the White House approved a Major Disaster Declaration for many of the counties affected by October’s fires, including Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. This declaration includes three programs:

  • Public Assistance: helps communities – state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations – absorb the costs of emergency measures such as removing debris and repairing or replacing structures such as public buildings, roads, bridges, and public utilities.
  • Hazard Mitigation: grants to local governments and tribes for post-disaster mitigation activities to reduce the risk and effects of future disasters, such as acquisition of high-risk properties, retrofitting buildings, and code enforcement.
  • Individual Assistance: covers individual needs like disaster housing for displaced individuals, grants for needs not covered by insurance, crisis counseling, and disaster-related unemployment assistance.
  • If you were affected by these fires, please start by registering at www.disasterassistance.gov so that you can get the help you need.

Small Business Administration (SBA):
The disaster declarations have also made Small Business Administration (SBA) loans available for the affected area. These low-interest disaster loans are not just for small businesses. They are available to qualifying businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. Learn more online: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.

Unemployment assistance (State of California):

If you have lost a job due to the disaster, or if you are an employer who had to shut down operations, you may be eligible for relief from the State of California, including Unemployment Insurance or extensions on state payroll reports and taxes.

You can learn more about disaster related services from the California Employment Development Department here: http://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/Disaster_Related_Services.htm and you can file for unemployment benefits online at https://eapply4ui.edd.ca.gov/.

You can also file by phone by calling:

English: 1-800-300-5616

Español: 1-800-326-8937

Chinese (Cantonese): 1-800-547-3506

Chinese (Mandarin): 1-866-303-0706

Vietnamese: 1-800-547-2058

TTY:1-800-815-9387

Other phone numbers: http://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Telephone_Numbers.htm

State taxes and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) relief:

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief. Learn more here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-wildfires-in-california

The California Franchise Tax Board has already announced an extension to file 2016 California tax returns as well. More information is available here: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/aboutFTB/press/2017/09-10132017.shtml

In addition, for wineries and other businesses whose operations were affected by the fires TTB will consider waiving late filing, payment, or deposit penalties on a case-by-case basis. To qualify for such a waiver, a taxpayer must:

  • Demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the appropriate TTB officer, that the fires directly affected your ability to timely file, pay, or deposit; and
  • Contact the TTB National Revenue Center (NRC) at: 877-882-3277 or on their online contact form: https://www.ttb.gov/webforms/contact_nrc.shtml

Department of Agriculture (USDA):

The USDA has several disaster assistance programs for crop and livestock losses, to rehabilitate farmland, watersheds, and forests, and to provide support for rural businesses and homes.

Please review their disaster resources online at: https://www.usda.gov/topics/disaster/reference-guide-usda-disaster-resources-farmers-ranchers-and-communities

Contact your local USDA Service Center to get started:
     Ukiah Service Center
     1252 Airport Park Blvd Ste B1
     (707) 468-9223

     Petaluma Service Center
     5401 Old Redwood Hwy Ste 100
     (707) 794-1242 ext 3

Contact my office with any questions 

We can assist you with any of these federal forms and processes; ensure that federal agencies are providing appropriate services; help you replace missing Social Security cards, passports, and other federal documents, or lost or damaged medals for veterans; and guide you to any other state or federal services you may need. 

Start with my San Rafael Office, and my staff can guide you to the most appropriate regional office:

Phone: (415) 258-9657

 

In person:

999 Fifth Ave.
Suite 290
San Rafael, CA 94901

If you are not able to call or visit in person, please email rep.huffman@mail.house.gov and we can assist you that way.

With warm regards,

Jared Huffman 
Member of Congress

 


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