CalVCB Information For 2018 Camp Fire Survivors

Victims of the 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County may be eligible to file for reimbursement of certain expenses due to the criminal indictment of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for causing the 2018 Camp Fire.

Eligible victims include those who were physically present during the fire, injured or threatened with injury, or suffered the death of a loved one as a direct result of the fire.

By law, CalVCB is a payor of last resort, which means victims are compensated by CalVCB for covered expenses that have not been and will not be compensated from any other source. Therefore, a victim is first required to exhaust payments from other public or private sources prior to seeking compensation from CalVCB.

On January 29, 2019, PG&E filed a Chapter 11 case in Bankruptcy Court. As part of that case, PG&E established a $13.5 billion trust known as the “Fire Victim Trust” to compensate victims of the 2018 Camp Fire and certain other wildfires.

These sources include, but are not limited to, claims filed in bankruptcy cases – including recovery under the Fire Victim Trust, insurance, applicable settlements, civil lawsuits, relief funds and other disaster assistance, such as from FEMA and the Red Cross. If you will or have already received, reimbursement or payment from any source, your eligibility and/or timeframe to receive reimbursement by CalVCB may be impacted.

Apply For Victim Compensation Online

Applicants and advocates should access CalVCB Online to submit applications, upload documents and communicate with CalVCB staff. You may also complete a printable version of our application and mail it in.

For more information about how to apply online, watch the CalVCB Online eLearning video. You may also contact CalVCB toll-free at 1-800-777-9229, or email: info@victims.ca.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for CalVCB benefits?

Eligible victims include those who were physically present during the fire, injured or threatened with injury, or suffered the death of a loved one as a direct result of the fire.

CalVCB cannot pay any expenses sustained while a person is incarcerated, on parole, on probation, or on post-release community supervision for a violent felony as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code or required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code.

How long do I have to file a Camp Fire claim?

By law, applicants have up to seven years from the date of the crime to file an application with CalVCB. For the 2018 Campfire, that would be November 25, 2025, which is seven years from the date the fire was fully contained.

What does it mean that CalVCB is the payor of last resort?

CalVCB provides compensation to victims of crimes who suffered injuries that resulted in a covered pecuniary loss. CalVCB’s statutes define “pecuniary loss” as an economic loss or expense resulting from an injury or death to a victim of crime that has not been and will not be reimbursed from any other source. Therefore, a victim is first required to exhaust payments from other public or private sources prior to seeking compensation from CalVCB.

These sources include, but are not limited to, claims filed in bankruptcy cases – including recovery under the PG&E Fire Victim Trust, insurance, applicable settlements, civil lawsuits, relief funds and other disaster assistance, such as from FEMA and the Red Cross. If you will receive, or have already received, reimbursement or payment from any of these sources, your eligibility and timeframe to receive reimbursement could be impacted or offset by the amount you received from these other funding sources.

What expenses can I apply for?

Eligible expenses include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Mental health counseling
  • Income loss directly related to the 2018 Camp Fire
  • Support loss for close family members of, and who were legally dependent on, a victim who died or was physically injured in the fire
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Relocation expenses
  • Crime scene cleanup (maximum of $1,000)
  • Residential security (limitations apply)

Expenses or services not eligible for reimbursement:

  • Property loss
  • Pain and suffering

How long does it take to file a claim and receive reimbursement?

If a claimant has already exhausted all funding sources and provides necessary documentation at the time of application, the average time for reimbursement is three to six months. Each claim is processed on a case-by-case basis with individual circumstances that may affect the overall processing time, such as bankruptcy claims and pending lawsuit settlements. Applicants and advocates should submit all required documentation, including billing, with their application to ensure accurate and timely processing of claims.