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How to get reimbursed for food & medicine lost in the power outage

You could get up to $540 for food lost during the blizzard's power outage.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A lot of people lost power during the blizzard, and if you lost it for more than 72 hours, you can get reimbursed for any food or medicine that spoiled because it wasn't refrigerated.

This is a new state law, and this is probably the first time a lot of people can file these claims to get money from National Grid or NYSEG for food or medicine they lost during the power outage.

The first thing you need to know is the deadline to file. It's two weeks from when you hit the 72-hour mark of not having power, and remember in order to qualify, it had to be out for 72 hours in a row or more. 

The City of Buffalo says that the deadline is next Tuesday.

You're going to want to document what you lost. This covers spoiled perishable food and prescription medication that had to be refrigerated.

There are four ways to file a claim. You can fill out a form online, or do it by email, phone, or mail.

You have to give the power company an itemized list of the food you lost or proof of loss of food. If you do the itemized list, the most you can get is $235. If you show proof of loss, the most you can get is $540.

For prescription medicine, you'd get back what you paid for it.

What's proof of loss? 

National Grid says it's, "verifiable evidence of the loss, such as photographs accompanied with itemized receipts of the food or prescription medication that has been spoiled."

We talked with a spokesperson from National Grid about this last week.

"There also is a form that can be completed online and you have to go through a process of itemizing what might have been lost, and it's, we want this to run smoothly. It's the first time we're rolling it out, but we're hopeful everything will go, we're hoping everybody will get exactly what they need from this new claims process," said David Bertola, spokesperson for National Grid.

In addition to filing a claim, if you lost power for 72 consecutive hours in the blizzard, your power company will automatically give you a bill credit of $25 for every additional 24 hours you were still without power.

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