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PSEG Long Island says it will reimburse storm victims for spoiled food, medication

PSEG Long Island said Monday that it is expanding its claims policy so that customers whose electrical service was interrupted by Tropical Storm Isaias for at least 72 hours can be reimbursed for spoiled food and medication. 

The tropical storm knocked out power for more than 420,000 customers on Long Island and in the Rockaways, making it the most destructive storm since Superstorm Sandy, according to PSEG Long Island, which operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a long-term contract.

“We recognize that losing power in August, together with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a hardship for many of our customers,” PSEG Long Island President and COO Daniel Eichhorn said in a press release Monday. “Given the unique combination of circumstances, we believe the right thing to do is to expand our claims process to ease the burden on the customers most impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias.”

PSEG Long Island says it will reimburse residential customers up to $250 and commercial customers up to $5,000 for food spoilage if their service was interrupted for 72 hours or longer between Aug. 4 and Aug. 12 due to Tropical Storm Isaias. 

For residential customers, food spoilage claims of $150 or less must include an itemized list. Food spoilage claims of over $150 must include an itemized list and proof of loss, for example: cash register tapes, store or credit card receipts, canceled checks or photographs of spoiled items, according to the company.

Separately, customers will be reimbursed for losses, up to a maximum of $300 for prescription medications that spoiled due to lack of refrigeration. Customers must provide an itemized list of the medications and proof of loss, for example: a pharmacy prescription label or pharmacy receipt identifying the medicine.

Commercial customers applying for reimbursement must supply an itemized list of spoiled food and proof of loss, such as invoices, inventory lists and bank statements.

Customers can apply for reimbursement at www.psegliny.com/claims. The reimbursement claims cannot be processed over the phone. 

 Customers will have until Sept. 16 to file claims. 

Reimbursement is expected to take up to 60 business days from when a proper claim form is completed and submitted to PSEG Long Island.

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who was among the elected officials to call for PSEG to take such action, said in a statement Monday that PSEG “has done the right thing.”

“I hope that this announcement signifies PSEG’s willingness to make the changes desperately needed to learn from Tropical Storm Isaias and better serve Long Islanders,” the congressman said in a statement.