MENDOCINO Co., 11/20/19 — Though it does not currently appear that Pacific Gas & Electric will be making significant compensations for economic and financial losses due to the massive and lengthy Oct. 26 power shut-off, the State of California is stepping in with some relief.
Additional CalFresh benefits will be automatically issued to residents of Mendocino County zip codes, who are already current CalFresh - EBT recipients, due to the Oct. 26 shut-off. The state is also encouraging people to apply for unemployment insurance if they lost work hours, or lost their jobs due to the shut-offs and wildfires. Certain waivers have been put in place under the governor's disaster declaration.
The mass replacement, which will be 15% of monthly benefits, will automatically be issued to 22 zip codes within Mendocino County — which, given all PG&E customers within the county were shut-off, should include all CalFresh recipients within the county. The replacement benefits will be issued on November 22, in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
In addition, the State of California has waived certain requirements, thus making it easier for both business owners and employees to apply for financial assistance, due to loss of work from either wildfires or power shut-offs, and unemployment benefits are available from the Employment Development Department for those who lost work during the power shut-offs or from wildfires. The full press release can be found here, and you can apply for benefits online or get more details.
The zip codes identified for an automatic Cal Fresh replacement in Mendocino County are as follows: Albion, Boonville, Branscomb, Caspar, Comptche, Covelo, Dos Rios, Elk, Fort Bragg, Gualala, Laytonville, Little River, Manchester, Mendocino, Navarro, Philo, Point Arena, Redwood Valley, Ukiah, Westport, Willits and Yorkville. However, if you did experience food loss during that power shut-off, and are a CalFresh recipient, and you are not listed in the zip codes receiving an automatic replacement, you have until November 22 to contact your local HHSA office to request replacement benefits.
CalFresh has issued replacement benefits for previous power shut-offs which you can read about in our previous articles. As of now, PG&E has stated they will not be reimbursing customers for losses experienced during the October 26 - 29 power shut-offs.
Here's the full announcement from Mendocino County's Health and Human Services:
MASS CALFRESH REPLACEMENT for
Mendocino County Households Affected by PG&E
Public Safety Power Shutoff
The California Department of Social Services reports that the Food and
Nutrition Service has authorized a mass replacement of CalFresh benefits for households affected by PG&E’s de-energization of power lines that began on October 23, 2019. The 22 identified zip codes within Mendocino County are Albion, Boonville, Branscomb, Caspar, Comptche, Covelo, Dos Rios, Elk, Fort Bragg, Gualala, Laytonville, Little River, Manchester, Mendocino, Navarro, Philo, Point Arena, Redwood Valley, Ukiah, Westport, Willits and Yorkville.
CalFresh households with a physical address within these zip codes willMendocino County HHSA
receive a 15% automatic replacement of their October CalFresh allotment on November 22, 2019, with the exception of households that have already received replacements for the month of October 2019. Households not included in the automatic replacement, who experienced a food loss due to the power shutoff, have until November 22, 2019, to request replacement. To request replacement benefits, please contact us at:
1 (877) 327-1711
737 S. State Street
Monday – Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Fort Bragg Office:
1 (877) 327-1677
764 S. Franklin Street
Monday – Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – noon; 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m