The impacts of these fires will be felt in our communities for years to come. If you have been affected by the wildfires, below are a few community resources that may be helpful to you, your family or your neighbors.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance Benefits
If you live in Monterey, Santa Clara, or Santa Cruz Counties and have been impacted by the wildfires that started in August, the deadline for filing for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits has been extended to November 30, 2020
The DUA benefits are available to workers, business owners, and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or business, or had their work hours reduced due to the ongoing wildfires. These benefits apply to losses beginning the week of August 16, 2020, and individuals can receive up to $450 a week in benefits for a maximum period of 27 weeks
How to Apply: The fastest way for individuals seeking DUA benefits is to use the EDD's UI Online application, available here in Spanish and English. For more information on DUA assistance benefit criteria click here.
Disaster Nutrition Benefits: Disaster CalFresh (DCF)
If you live or work in Monterey or Santa Cruz Counties, you may be eligible to receive up to $646 in food benefits through the Disaster CalFresh program. Additional wildfire-affected counties may be added soon.
Individuals and families who lived or worked in eligible counties on August 14 may be eligible for Disaster CalFresh food benefits if the household experienced at least one of the following between August 14-September 12 as a direct result of the wildfires:
At least one person in the household was not getting regular CalFresh food benefits
Money was spent because of the wildfire or related power outage
Money was lost from work because of the wildfire; or
Money was spent because of damage to a home or business.
Please note households already receiving regular CalFresh food benefits are not eligible to receive Disaster CalFresh food benefits.
How to Apply: Households may apply in the eligible counties on weekdays from October 14 until 22 by calling their local county social services office, submitting a paper application, or submitting an online application. Online applications will be accepted from October 14 until 22 at www.benefitscal.com.
Local Assistance Centers (LACs) in Your Community:
The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), in a joint effort with local, state and federal agencies, has made Local Assistance Centers available to those impacted by wildfires. The Local Assistance Centers are a one-stop-shop with critical government services, such as replacing lost or destroyed vital documents (identification documents, financial information, etc.) and getting connected with support services.
Santa Cruz County (FEMA assistance only until 10/21):
Kaiser Permanente Arena
140 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
COVID-19 has impacted the daily lives of all of us. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 and to express my appreciation to all the frontline health and essential workers who have continued to serve throughout the pandemic. It goes without saying that we must remain vigilant against the ongoing public health emergency COVID-19 poses. As we head into colder weather and more family gatherings, continue to protect your families and community members by practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing a mask.To receive additional updates about COVID-19 in your community, please visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/get-local-information/