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Financial assistance available for people affected by flooding

May 16, 2023 at 10:52 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) is available for eligible British Columbians in southeast and central areas of the province who were affected by flooding between April 27 and May 16, 2023.

This assistance includes all flood-affected Indigenous communities, electoral areas and municipalities within the geographic boundaries of the following areas:

  • Thompson-Nicola Regional District, specifically:
  • Regional District Central Okanagan, specifically:
  • Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen, specifically:
  • Regional District Kootenay Boundary, specifically:
    • City of Grand Forks
    • Village of Fruitvale
    • Village of Midway
  • Okanagan Indian Band
  • Bonaparte First Nation
  • Shackan Indian Band
  • Lower Similkameen Indian Band
  • Skeetchestn Indian Band
  • Osoyoos Indian Band

DFA is available to homeowners, residential tenants, business owners, local governments, Indigenous communities, farmers, corporation-owned properties, and charitable organizations that were unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses. By regulation, DFA is unable to compensate for losses for which insurance was reasonably and readily available.

British Columbians can access the DFA application online here: http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance

Applications for the DFA event must be submitted to the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness within 90 days of the event declaration. With ongoing flooding, visit the website for specifics about this event and application deadlines. In addition, the geographic areas for this event may be expanded as additional information regarding impacts becomes known.

Indigenous communities and local governments that have infrastructure damage as a result of the recent flooding should submit a local government DFA application as soon as possible. Local government application forms and additional information are available here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-management/local-emergency-programs/financial/communities-dfa

Facts about Disaster Financial Assistance:

Applicants should be aware of the following:

  • Financial assistance is provided for each accepted claim at 80% of the amount of total eligible damage that exceeds $1,000, to a maximum payment of $400,000;
  • A claim may be made in more than one category (e.g., homeowner and farm owner);
  • A homeowner or residential tenant must show that the home is their principal residence. Seasonal or recreational properties are not eligible for assistance;
  • DFA is intended to compensate for sudden, unexpected and uninsurable losses. This may include building repairs, replacement of essential personal effects, eligible equipment and inventory, and clean up and debris removal;
  • Small business owners must have at least $10,000 per year in revenue from the business and gross sales of less than $2 million per year;
  • Farm owners must demonstrate that the farm is owned and operated by a person whose full-time employment is a farmer and be the means by which the owner generates the majority of their income; and
  • DFA is limited to restoring actual damage caused by a specific disaster that has been declared eligible for compensation.

Last year, the Province enhanced and expanded the Disaster Financial Assistance program. These changes included:

  • increased maximum DFA support available per claim from $300,000 to $400,000;
  • expanded eligibility for small businesses based on minimum income;
  • expanded annual revenue threshold for small businesses from $1 million to $2 million so more businesses can qualify for DFA;
  • expanded eligibility for the farming sector to include homes owned by corporations if the home is used as a primary residence;
  • increased provincial contributions to local infrastructure recovery; and
  • to help communities rebuild critical infrastructure projects faster, the Province now may provide a portion of the project’s estimated costs up front.

Learn More:

Information, eligibility criteria, categories and applications can be found by calling toll free 1 (888) 257-4777 or by visiting: http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance

To learn about improvements the Province made to DFA after the November 2021 flooding, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/26713

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