More residents of the BC Southern Interior are now eligible to apply for flood-related Disaster Financial Assistance.
The provincial government has expanded eligibility to additional areas affected by flooding from April 27 to May 16 in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and Thompson-Nicola Regional District. The areas added are electoral areas D and E in the RDKB and electoral area I in the TNRD.
Disaster Financial Assistance is available to homeowners, tenants, businesses, local governments, farmers, Indigenous communities, charitable organizations and corporation-owned properties that were unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses. Those affected have until September 3, 2023 to submit their applications.
Several municipalities, electoral areas and Indigenous communities were earlier declared eligible for DFA on May 16, including Cache Creek, which saw some of the worst flooding in late April and early May.
There are several criteria to be eligible for DFA:
- 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 how the owner generates most of their income.
- DFA is limited to restoring actual damage caused by a specific disaster that has been declared eligible for compensation.
In 2022, the province expanded the program, including increasing the maximum support available per claim from $300,000 to $400,000, expanding the eligibility for small businesses and the farming sector and increasing provincial contributions to local infrastructure recovery.