There are a variety of resources available to help survivors financially, including:
An insurance policy is the primary form of financial assistance most people rely on after a fire. However, you may be uninsured or under-insured. In a declared disaster, government may be able to help with expenses not covered by insurance. Therefore, every affected resident should apply for FEMA assistance (see below), even if they have private insurance.
- To ensure you get all the insurance money you’re entitled to, read this important guidance from United Policyholders. If you feel you're not getting fair treatment from your insurance company, contact the Oregon Insurance Commissioner's Advocacy Team for help at 888-877-4894 or email DFR.InsuranceHelp@oregon.gov.
- Learn more about dealing with insurance.
FEMA Disaster Assistance
FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households affected by a disaster, particularly those who are uninsured or under-insured. The assistance is intended to meet basic needs and supplement other forms of assistance. Every affected resident should apply for FEMA assistance, even if they think they may not qualify. There are multiple types of FEMA assistance available, and ineligibility for one type of aid does not necessarily mean ineligibility for all types of aid.
Oregon Wildfire Damage Housing Relief
Many charities, large and small, have been collecting relief donations for fire survivors. To connect with reputable organizations that provide direct financial aid, start with these trusted organizations:
If you lost your job or had hours reduced as a direct result of the fires, you may be able to get Disaster Unemployment payments, even if you’re not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. The deadline to apply is Oct. 23, 2020. Learn more in English or Spanish.
REALTORS Relief Grant
Qualified households can receive up to $1,000 toward paying mortgage, rent, or long-term hotel costs. More information.
There is a deadline to apply for a disaster loan, so apply promptly. Learn more about SBA disaster loans in English or Spanish. Also see downloadable SBA fact sheet below.
- GovLoans.gov provides information on other government loan programs. Complete the free and confidential Loan Finder questionnaire to receive a list of loans you may be eligible for.
Bank loan terms likely won’t be as advantageous as a government-backed disaster loan, but you may wish to approach your current bank to find out if they have any loan programs that suit you.
Family loans may be an option. If you go this route, be sure that the terms of the loan are clearly defined in a written document signed by both parties. Consult an attorney, if needed, to help draw up the loan document.
Avoid high-interest loans, like payday loans and credit cards, if at all possible.
Beware of scammers. If a loan offer sounds too good to be true, it may be a scam. Beware giving your banking info or Social Security Number to anyone you don’t know and trust. Contact police ASAP if you think you may have been targeted in a financial scam.