Financial assistance in a disaster
This page is for individuals, small businesses, farms, and charitable organizations. If you're an Indigenous community or local government your process is different: DFA for community recovery.
After a disaster, the provincial government may declare the event eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA). Once declared, the DFA program may compensate applicants for essential uninsurable losses.
- Step 1: Confirm the disaster is eligible
- Step 2: Review eligible expenses
- Step 3: Submit your application
- Step 4: Making a determination
- Contact us with any questions
If you've recently experienced a disaster and it's not on the eligible events list, contact your Indigenous or local government first.
Geographic area (subject to change)
Vancouver island, Southwest, Central, and Southeast areas of the province including all First Nation communities, electoral areas and municipalities within the geographic boundaries of these areas.
See the MAP (PNG, 88KB)
Type of event
Date of event
November 14 to 16, 2021
90-day deadline for applications
February 12, 2022
Financial assistance is meant to compensate for sudden, unexpected, and uninsurable losses.
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
- 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
- Be the means by which the owner obtains the majority of their income
- Have gross sales less than $1 million per year
- Employ fewer than 50 employees at one time
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.
Insurable damages in the private sector aren’t eligible.
This includes damage caused by:
- 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
For full details, refer to the schedules below.
Determining if your damages are insurable or uninsurable
You are strongly encouraged to contact the program to discuss your insurance situation or if you have questions.
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 $300,000.
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
- Disaster Financial Assistance Guidelines (PDF)
- Compensation and DFA regulations
- Applications must be submitted within 90 days of the disaster being declared eligible
- Applications cannot be processed without your signature
- Complete the appropriate application:
- Submit to Emergency Management BC:
- E-mail: DFA@gov.bc.ca
- Fax: 250-952-5542
- Mail: DFA / PO Box 9201 Stn Prov Govt / Victoria B.C. V8W 9J1
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, we recommend taking photos or videos of the damage and keep all related receipts.
- You'll be contacted to discuss your application and damages, and if applicable, request additional documentation to confirm category eligibility.
- All applicants will need to submit insurance information
- Insurance template for home owners (PDF)
- Once category eligibility has been determined, your file may be assigned to an evaluator who will contact you to assess the damage.
- Once a complete file review has been performed, a decision letter will be sent regarding your eligibility for funding.
- If funding is approved, a cheque will be sent to your mailing address. You'll also receive a payment letter by mail or email.
If you have any questions or would like more information please contact the Disaster Financial Assistance team.
- Email: DFA@gov.bc.ca
- Phone: 1-888-257-4777 (toll-free)