Sonoma County fire survivors struggle to secure aid from FEMA

Percy enlisted the resources of Legal Aid of Sonoma County, which worked with FEMA to get him housed in a Santa Rosa motel for two months. Percy and the legal nonprofit are still hoping to move him back into a FEMA-assisted living situation

News Story (California)

J.D. Morris
Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA)
February 9, 2018

Tags: Disaster Recovery

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid of Sonoma County (California)


His case is one of about 100 FEMA assistance appeals Legal Aid is handling, and advocates suspect the total need could be even higher.

“We think people are not understanding that they can appeal,” said Ronit Rubinoff, Legal Aid’s executive director. “When the government tells them no, there’s a tendency to just take that answer and say, ‘Oh, I’m out of luck.’ And it’s wrong. That’s not true, especially in entitlement programs when we know there’s these big bureaucracies at work, and denial rates are high and appeal rates are usually quite successful.”