Financial assistance in a disaster

After a disaster, the provincial government may declare the event eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA). Once declared, the DFA program may provide applicants with financial assistance to restore uninsurable losses that are essential to your home, livelihood or community service.

Application process

Step 1: Eligible events

If you've recently experienced a disaster and it's not on the eligible events list, contact your Indigenous or local government first.

There are currently no eligible events.

Step 2: Review eligible expenses

Financial assistance is meant to compensate for sudden, unexpected, and uninsurable losses. This may include building repairs, replacement of essential personal effects, eligible equipment and inventory, clean up and debris removal.

Eligible damage

Applicants can apply to more than one category.

Home owners and residential tenants

  • You must occupy the property as your principal residence
  • Seasonal or recreational properties aren’t eligible
  • If you are a landlord, you must apply and qualify as a small business owner

Charitable organizations

  • Must provide a benefit or service to the community
  • Must be registered under the provincial Societies Act

Small business owners

Your business must:

  • Be managed by the owner on a day-to-day basis
  • Must have at least $10,000 per year in revenue from the business
  • Have gross sales less than $2 million per year
  • Employ fewer than 50 employees at one time

Farm owners

Your farm must:

  • Be identified as a developing or established agricultural operation
  • Be owned and operated by a person whose full-time employment is a farmer 
  • Be the means by which the owner derives the majority of their income 

If a farm operation is incorporated, the small business eligibility criteria applies.

Also related: Food security flood recovery program

Ineligible damage

Insurable damages in the private sector aren’t eligible.

This includes damage caused by:

  • Wildfires 
  • Earthquakes
  • Snow load
  • Wind storms
  • Sewer or sump pit back-up
  • Water entry from above ground

Some ineligible items include:

  • Insurance deductibles
  • Non-essential and recreational items
  • Land lost due to erosion
  • Landscaping
  • Luxury goods

For full details, refer to the schedules below.

Determining if your damages are insurable or uninsurable

Contact your insurance provider as a first step. They will provide you with information about your insurance coverage.

Program staff are available to discuss how your insurance relates to your eligibility and application.

How compensation is calculated

Financial assistance is provided for each accepted claim at 80 percent of the amount of total eligible damage less $1,000, to a maximum of $400,000.

Eligible essential contents are compensated based on median value of the base model item. For example, a damaged TV would be compensated based on the value of a median priced base model TV regardless of the type or quality the applicant owned.

Structural compensation is limited to the cost to repair eligible damage caused by the event, using standard industry rates for things like drywall repair, debris removal, carpet removal and replacement.

Detailed information on expenses and program guidelines

Step 3: Submit application

Applications must be submitted within 90 days of the disaster being declared eligible and cannot be processed without your signature. 

  1. Review required documentation for the category/categories you are applying for (see below)
  2. Complete the appropriate application form available through the DFA application portal during an eligible event
  3. Have your insurance broker complete the appropriate insurance template to include with your application:
    1. Home owners, residential tenants, and landlord insurance template (PDF, 164KB)
    2. Small business, farm owners, and charitable organizations insurance template (PDF, 216KB)
    3. Examples of insurance templates:
  4. Upload all required documents as directed on application form
  5. Submit application

*All documents must be from the time of the event*


If you're applying for a rental property, please see the small business category.

  • Completed insurance template (by insurance broker) 

Residential Tenant

  • Government-issued ID - DL, Service Card, BC ID
  • Completed Insurance Template (by insurance broker) 
  • Signed Tenancy Agreement - If no tenancy agreement, please provide the landlord contact information and a piece of mail showing the damaged property address

Small Business/Farm

  • Completed Small Business Insurance Template (by insurance broker) 
  • Lease Agreements – If applicable
  • Financial documents – see categories below for what documents are required depending on your business structure.
    • General or Sole Proprietorship or DBA name
      • Completed T1 general tax return with supporting schedules for all owners.
    • Corporate (Ltd./Inc.) Company
      • Central security register
      • Completed T2 return for the company.
      • Company income statement and balance sheet used for income tax purposes.
    • Landlord
      • Complete T1s for all owners of rented property
      • Statement of real estate rentals (T776)
      • Residential Tenancy Agreement

Charitable Organization

  • Completed Insurance Template (by insurance broker) 
  • Incorporation Documents, Annual Fillings & List of Directors including contact information
  • Lease Agreement - if applicable
  • Proof of benefit to community & organizational structure - A description in a word document will be considered if no additional proof is available


Repairs can begin before your application is approved. Damage can be assessed both before and after it has been repaired. For repairs done before being assessed by our evaluator, please take photos or videos of the damage and keep all related receipts.

Determination and appeals

The DFA program will make a determination on your application based on the eligibility outlined in the regulation. Once you've received your determination, if applicable, you will have a maximum of 60 days to submit an appeal. Below is an outline of what to expect during both processes.

Making a determination

  1. You'll be contacted to discuss your application and damages, and if applicable, we may request additional information to confirm category eligibility
    • Be prepared to take calls about your application during and outside of standard government office hours
    • If your mailing address, phone number, or email changes after applying, please notify us
    • Return any documents requested as quickly as possible
  2. Once eligibility has been determined, your file may be assigned to an evaluator who will contact you to assess the damage
  3. Once a complete file review has been performed, a decision letter will be sent regarding your eligibility for funding
  4. If funding is approved, a cheque will be sent to your mailing address. You'll also receive a payment letter by mail or email


You may appeal a determination based on:

  1. eligibility (you receive an ineligible determination), or
  2. amount (you disagree with the amount you are eligible for)

To appeal a determination, you must do so in writing by email or mail within 60 days of receiving the initial decision. 

By email: 

By mail:
Disaster Financial Assistance Program
PO Box 9201 Stn Prov Govt
​Victoria, B.C. V8W 9J1

What to include:

  • State if you are appealing based on eligibility or amount
  • Provide your rationale for the appeal
  • Include any additional supporting documentation previously not provided

A fair and equitable review of the appeal will be conducted. This includes:

  • Each appeal is assigned to an Appeals Adjudicator for review
  • You may be contacted for additional information, or to arrange an on-site visit
    • You will always have 21 calendar days to reply to these inquiries. After 21 days, the review will continue with what we have on file
  • After the review, a recommendation will be made to uphold or overturn the initial decision
  • You may request a status update at any time by email 

You will receive the new decision in writing. Decisions made as a result of an appeal are considered final.

  • If an eligibility appeal is overturned, you will be provided with next steps
  • If an amount appeal is overturned
    • if the amount is determined to be higher, additional funds will be provided 
    • if the amount is determined to be less, you will be required to replay the overpaid amount within 60 days 

Note that appeals decisions are based on the regulations, legislation and policies that were in force during the time of the event. ​Disaster Financial Assistance Guidelines (PDF, 315KB) provides more details on the appeals process.


For questions or more information, contact the Disaster Financial Assistance team.