Getting Financial Help

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Friday, May 3, 2019 will be the FINAL day for survivors to apply for the American Red Cross 2018 financial assistance program. After May 3rd, no new enrollments will be accepted. Red Cross contact information: 805-987-1514 Red Cross e-mail

Click here for additional organizations that may be able to help.

Workshops for homeowners

United Policyholders is a nonprofit consumer advocate assisting residents who may need guidance navigating insurance claims after a loss.

1) Workshop to be held Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm at the Thousand Oaks (Grant Brimhall) Library

 Removing Roadblocks to Recovery
A workshop for survivors of the Hill and Woolsey fires

2) Workshop to be held Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm by United Policyholder.  Click here to register Questions and frequently encountered insurance problems will be addressed as well as discussion of recent legislature that may affect your claim.  You can send questions to


Various forms of assistance are available to residents impacted by the Hill and Woolsey Fires.  This message provides an overview of the major resources available for residents and provides information about the process of applying for assistance. 


211 provides free and confidential social service assistance to people in the United States and Canada.  Locally, 211 partners with Interface Children and Family Services to provide social service assistance and is the local resource coordinator for Hill and Woolsey fire victims.  211 may require fire survivors to apply to FEMA to be eligible for their assistance.  211 will provide a Disaster Case Manager (DCM) through Interface.  DCM’s can assist residents with locating and applying for non-FEMA and non-SBA related financial and social assistance.

Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)

Some FEMA resources may not be available due to the partial government shut down.  FEMA provides housing assistance to individuals and families, renters and homeowners, who have lost their primary residence as a result of a presidentially declared disaster. 

FEMA offers assistance with unmet disaster caused needs after a maximum insurance settlement.  Having insurance does not disqualify an individual from receiving assistance.  However, by law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. The agency does not cover insurance deductibles.  Residents without insurance and those with uninsured lodging expenses may also qualify for rental assistance. 

FEMA grants do not need to be repaid.  According to the FEMA website, Federal assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, or other federal benefits.  FEMA may also be able to provide assistance in addition to temporary housing as long as the applicant has applied to and denied from the SBA Loan program.  Please see the FEMA Assistance Flow Chart here

If you have received a FEMA denial or rejection notice, please note that this is not necessarily the end of the line for FEMA assistance

  • In many cases, FEMA within the notice is asking for additional information such as insurance settlement documents or a phone call to schedule an appointment for a home inspection to verify you are qualified for assistance.For assistance, please call FEMA’s assistance hotline: (800) 621-3362.
  • In addition, you may be ineligible for assistance at this time because your insurance covers temporary housing, but if your insurance runs within 12 months from the date you registered with FEMA, you may be eligible for assistance.You will need to file an appeal with FEMA, for more information on this go to the FEMA assistance website at
  • Please see the FEMA Eligibility Fact Sheet for additional information.
  • For more detailed information, please visit & read through the FEMA assistance website:

Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA offers financial assistance to homeowners and renters in declared disaster areas.  The agency provides low-interest, long-term loans not fully covered by insurance or other means. Maximum assistance is $200,000 to repair or replace a primary home to pre-disaster condition. SBA also offers up to $40,000 to replace damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothing, furniture, appliances, and cars. For additional help, please reference the SBA Process Guide (in English & Spanish), the SBA Disaster Assistance Flyer & the SBA Fact Sheet (in English & Spanish).

Summary of the Processes:

  1. Apply concurrently for FEMA and SBA assistance.
  2. FEMA- Apply for FEMA assistance please visit or click here.  To apply be phone for FEMA assistance, please call 1-800-621-3362. TTY, please call 1-800-462-7585.

Please note: after submitting a complete assistance application, FEMA will schedule an appointment with a home inspector, this is a critical step in getting approved.  If you have trouble getting the home inspection, please call FEMA’s assistance hotline to schedule one at (800) 621 3362.  After the inspection, if you qualify for assistance, FEMA will provide funds and a letter describing how you are to use the funds. If an individual does not qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide a letter explaining why the individual does not qualify and should provide an opportunity to appeal the decision.

If a FEMA claim for temporary housing was denied and insurance paid temporary housing funds are exhausted, a claimant may be able to appeal the FEMA denial in the future when an applicant’s insurance gets close to running out.  Please contact FEMA for appeal process information (800) 621 3362 or visit their assistance webpage at and click the “How Do I Appeal The Final Decision” button for more information.

  1. SBA- Apply for SBA assistance please visit or click here.   To apply by phone for SBA assistance please call 1-800-659-2955. TTY, please call 1-800-877-8339. 

SBA also provides an easy to follow reference guide.

  1. 211 Ventura- Apply for local assistance through 211.  Please visit or click here .  Scroll down to and select the link for the DCM Intake form.  The DCM Intake is the form to complete to be considered for local assistance.