Schwarzenegger Announces Additional Assistance for Fire Victims

October 30, 2007

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced cash grants of up to $10,000 are available to help some individuals who have suffered losses in the Southern California fires. The grants are administered by the California Department of Social Services as a supplemental program to FEMA-administered assistance. The grants help fire victims with expenses caused by a direct result of the disaster such as housing, replacing household items, medical costs and transportation.

“California stands ready to provide fire victims all the assistance they need to get their lives back on track. Even after the fires are extinguished, we will still be here to help fire victims in need,” Schwarzenegger said.

Individuals must first apply for assistance through FEMA, which forwards applications to the California Department of Social Services. Only individuals who have received the maximum FEMA award are eligible for state supplemental grants. California Department of Social Services staff are at local assistance centers to help with information about the program. For more information, contact the California Department of Social Services, State Supplemental Grant Program at 800-759-6807.

In addition to providing state cash assistance, departments throughout the California Health and Human Services Agency continue to help individuals affected by the fires by offering medical assistance at shelters, assisting residents in returning to skilled-nursing and residential care facilities and helping fire victims get disaster food stamps and replacement medication.

* In San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, California Medical Assistance Teams (CalMATs) continued to provide care and assess for unmet medical needs. CALMATS are teams of 35 physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other support personnel who are deployed during disasters and coordinated by the Emergency Medical Services Authority.

* Licensing staff from the Department of Public Health and Department of Health Care Services continued their efforts to help residents return to skilled nursing facilities and hospitals in Orange, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. As of Friday Oct. 26, 22 of 26 facilities affected by the fires had been cleared by state licensing staff to reopen. Three evacuated facilities in Fallbrook remained under fire threat and an evacuated intermediate care facility in Ramona had no running water.

* The Department of Health Care Services expedited requests for approximately 20 Medi-Cal beneficiaries who lost their medicines in the fires.

* Staff members from the Department of Developmental Services evaluated regional centers in the areas affected by the fires to assess the impact of the fires on developmentally disabled consumers. In addition, staff helped arrange transportation, served as language interpreters and conducted functional assessments of people with disabilities arriving in shelters.

Source: Office of the Governor

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