Read all newsletters from Rep. Drazan regarding the Wuhan virus
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is an honor to serve as your State Representative and I am grateful to have received the support to continue representing the citizens of House District 39. Please contact my office if I can ever be of assistance to you.
FEMA Assistance Update
The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is less than one week away - November 16th. The Office of Emergency Management is focused on providing survivors with the full benefit of available federal assistance.
Registration is easy online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.
How to Appeal a FEMA Disaster Assistance Decision
Disaster survivors affected by wildfires and straight-line winds may receive a letter from FEMA stating they are ineligible for assistance, but this may not be the final word. If an applicant believes FEMA’s decision was incorrect, they can file an appeal with FEMA.
The first step is for applicants to read their determination letter carefully to understand why FEMA decided the application was “ineligible.” Many times, it could be something as simple as providing missing documents or information.
Important Documents to Include with an Appeal Letter
Often, applicants need only to submit extra documents for FEMA to process their application. FEMA may find an applicant ineligible if the following documents are missing:
- Insurance documents: Provide documents from your insurance company that show your policy coverage and/or settlement is not enough to make essential home repairs, provide a place to stay, or replace certain contents. FEMA cannot duplicate homeowner or renter insurance benefits.
- Proof of occupancy: Provide documents that prove the damaged home or rental was your primary residence by supplying a copy of utility bills, driver’s license or lease.
- Proof of ownership. Provide mortgage or insurance documents, tax receipts or a deed. If you don’t have a deed handy, contact your local or county officials about obtaining a copy.
- Lost documents? Visit the following website for information on replacing lost documents: https://www.usa.gov/replace-vital-documents
All appeals must be in writing. The appeal letter should explain why the applicant thinks FEMA’s decision is not correct. When filing an appeal, it is important to include any documentation FEMA requests and/or that supports the appeal claim. Also, if the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the household, applicants must submit a signed statement that the writer is authorized to act on the behalf of the applicant.
How to Submit an Appeal
IMPORTANT: Be sure to include the cover letter you received from FEMA when you submit your appeal documents.
- Mail documents and your appeal letter within 60 days of receiving your determination letter to: FEMA National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055 Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
- Fax them to 800-827-8112.
- To set up a FEMA online account or to upload documents online, visit gov and click on “Check Your Application and Log In” and follow the directions.
Applicants will receive a decision letter within 90 days of FEMA's receipt of your appeal.
Those who need help understanding their letter can call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
Flood and Fire Insurance Questions Answered
The Department of Consumer and Business Services held a brief town hall this week to address concerns revolving around insurance issues due to the recent wildfires.
Flooding following large-scale wildfires is very common as burned areas do not absorb water effectively. These flood risks continue for years after the fires. Most of Oregon has availability for some form of Flood Insurance. Please inquire with your insurance agent for availability or go to www.FloodSmart.gov for information on FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.
Flood insurance rates vary by location and elevation but cover:
Building: Structures and built in appliances: $250,000 Maximum
Contents: Furniture, appliances, tools etc: $100,000 Maximum
Please note that Flood insurance coverage begins 30 days following the purchase of a policy.
Q: Does insurance cover fire damage that was started by arson?
A: Yes, fire damage that resulted from arson is covered unless that arson was caused by the party filing the claim.
Q: This process is taking too long, is everything going correctly?
A: When initiating an insurance claim, ask for an estimated timeline from your insurance agent. You can also contact the Oregon Department of Financial Regulation at https://dfr.oregon.gov or call 1-888-877-4894 for concerns regarding the length of time for processing.
Tree and Debris Removal
The Oregon Legislature's Emergency Board passed $295,700,000 funding for the Department of Transportation for hazard tree removal and $50,000,000 for ash and debris removal. These removal efforts are to follow the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's protocols.
For information or to apply for funding please visit Department of Environmental Quality at https://www.oregon.gov/DEQ/Pages/index.aspx.
Oregon Department of Transportation at https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT as well as your specific county's webpage.
Additional information can be found at https://wildfire.oregon.gov/cleanup
Important updates from the Oregon Employment Department that could impact your benefits
Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) - Have you certified for LWA yet? Even if you’ve already received LWA payments, you must self-certify. The eligibility requirement for LWA is not as limited as many think--as long as you received unemployment benefits for a COVID-related reason anytime between July 26 and Sept. 5, 2020, you’re eligible for LWA.
- FEMA requires everyone receiving LWA to certify their eligibility. You only have to certify ONCE, and ONLY if you received regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Extended Benefits (EB). Here are the instructions for certifying using the Online Claim System.
- If you received LWA funds but don’t certify, you’ll have to pay back those funds to the Oregon Employment Department. (As with all benefit programs, federal law requires us to recover benefits paid to people who don’t meet legal eligibility requirements.) Here are instructions for paying back LWA.
- If you’ve already certified for LWA, you don’t need to do anything else. OED is working on issuing your payment(s) as soon as they can.
Restarting Your Claim — With a two-week pause for several Oregon counties, some Oregonians may have their employment impacted by COVID-19 once again. Here are FAQs to help you restart your claim or find out for which benefit program you should apply.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits expire Dec. 26, 2020. Congress has not funded any other program to replace or continue those benefits.
If you need additional help accessing resources for food, housing, or utilities reach out to 211info.org or call 2-1-1 to see what support is available for you
Extended Benefits - If your Extended Benefits have expired or will expire soon, you may be able to receive PUA benefits through Dec. 26. If you qualify, you will automatically be enrolled.
Read more about Extended Benefits.
Adjudication - We recently launched Focus Adjudication to track our progress resolving the claims needing adjudication as of Sept. 30, 2020. Our goal is to process all Focus Adjudication claims by the end of this year.
- If your claim is in adjudication, OED may reach out to you for more information by phone, email, or mailed letter.
- You may receive a call from 1-855-914-4676 or a number not identified as the Employment Department. If the adjudicator handling your claim cannot reach you, they will leave a message with their direct phone number so you can return their call.
- You will need to call the adjudicator back within 2 business days, so it is important that you turn off call blocking, answer all calls, have your voicemail set up with room for messages, and check your messages often.
Waiting Week — OED is on track to begin paying waiting week benefits by the end of November. Stay tuned for more information.
Upcoming Webinar — Sign up for the next webinar, where you'll learn about the federal CARES Act unemployment benefits that will end soon and the Extended Benefits program. The webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19.
Need to reach Oregon Employment Department? — The best way to get in touch with a claims specialist is to submit a message through the Contact Us form.
Messages are responded to within one week. That means you don’t need to call and wait on hold to get information or have your issues fixed.
On Monday, the Legislative Emergency Board approved over $128 million in state Emergency funds and Coronavirus Relief Funds to support vulnerable Oregonians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Oregon's wildfires. A link to view the Emergency Board is found here.
The funding breakdown includes:
State Emergency Funds:
- $35 million to support the Project Turnkey Statewide Pandemic and Homelessness Response. The Oregon Community Foundation will use funding to support the acquisition, retrofitting and potential operation of hotel and motel properties to be used as emergency shelter. This funding is in addition to $30 million the Emergency Board approved on October 23 to begin Project Turnkey in wildfire-affected areas.
Coronavirus Relief Funds:
Health Exchange Open Enrollment
If you don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan and don’t get health insurance through your job, now through Sunday, December 15th, is an important time. It’s the only time of year most people can sign up for an individual or family plan to have coverage in 2021.
Use the Marketplace’s new window shopping feature at OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop to find out:
- How can I save money on health insurance?
- What would my health plan cover?
- Once I know what I can afford, what’s next?
Health insurance sold through the Marketplace is individual and family coverage offered by private companies, such as Bridgespan, Kaiser Permanente, Moda, PacificSource, Providence, and Regence. Not every company is available in every part the state, but at least three insurance companies and at least nine plan choices are available everywhere in Oregon.
An insurance expert can help you, at no cost, apply for the subsidy and enroll in coverage. They are listed at OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp.
For more information, visit OregonHealthCare.gov or call 855-268-3767.
Free Fishing Days
#optoutside for Black Friday
The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are Free Fishing Days in Oregon. That means you can fish, crab or clam for free – no license, tag or endorsement required. Some restrictions apply, as in all current closures, bag limits and other regulations still apply. Get details from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife here.
900 Court St NE, H-395 Salem, OR, 97301