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Financial Support From Hurricanes and Natural Disasters / Hurricane Fiona Financial Support for Nova Scotians

A hurricane, fire, or another natural disaster can cause a great amount of stress and financial strain on individuals and small businesses. Many Nova Scotians know this all too well as they continue to assess the damage and destruction left by Hurricane Fiona. 

If you are personally in need of financial support or you have a business or not-for-profit that is struggling as a result of this storm, assistance is available through the provincial government. Keep reading to learn about the different types of government support available and to see if you are eligible.  

Relief For Individual Nova Scotians

Residential property owners and tenants in Nova Scotia who have experienced damage or losses due to Hurricane Fiona can apply for support from the provincial government

To receive funding, you must apply by January 31, 2023, and meet specific eligibility requirements. Available supports include: 

  • A spoiled food allowance of $100 is available to every household that lost power for at least 48 hours
  • Up to $250 per person for tree removal from their property 
  • Additional $250 on top of existing $750 Senior Care Grant to help with storm repairs
  • $150 for all current recipients of income assistance
  • Emergency funding up to $1,000 per household if you were ordered out of your home or can’t return to your home. You must register with the Canadian Red Cross
  • Disaster financial assistance for residential property owners and tenants (more on this below)

Disaster Financial Assistance

The provincial government is also offering Disaster Financial Assistance. This program is meant to help small businesses, not-for-profits, and individual Nova Scotians find their footing after a major storm or natural disaster. For instance, if you experienced structural damage to your home or damage to household goods and appliances that aren’t insured, you may be eligible for disaster financial assistance. 

Often private insurance doesn’t cover damage due to a flood or other natural disaster. The Disaster Financial Assistance program tries to support those who have experienced uninsured losses to help return homes, appliances, and other household goods to pre-disaster conditions.

The amount of financial support you are eligible for depends on your specific circumstances, with the maximum amount covering up to $200,000. Once you apply for assistance, you can expect to hear back in six to eight weeks. It can take longer if there is a mistake on your application or more information is required. 

Eligibility requirements for property owners and tenants 

When applying for Disaster Financial Assistance, you will be asked for a Confirmation of Insurance Form from your insurance company to prove what items were and weren’t covered. Costs for insured items and insurable items (items that could be insured even if you didn’t purchase insurance) are not eligible for assistance. Food losses also aren’t eligible. 

Property owners. According to the government of Nova Scotia, individual property owners can apply for provincial assistance if: 

  • Damage occurred during Hurricane Fiona on September 23 to 24th, 2022
  • Your insurance doesn’t cover the entire loss
  • You own the property
  • The property is your primary place of residence 

Property tenants. If you are a residential property tenant, you can apply for assistance if: 

  • Damage occurred during Hurricane Fiona on September 23 to 24th, 2022
  • You rent or lease the property
  • You don’t have insurance to cover the entire loss
  • You lost contents of your rental unit
  • The property is your primary place of residence

To apply for assistance, fill out the Disaster Assistance for Residential Property application form. 

Eligibility for small businesses and non-profits

The Disaster Financial Assistance Program is also available to small business owners and not-for-profits. 

Small businesses. You can apply for small business funding if: 

  • Damage occurred during Hurricane Fiona on September 23 to 24th, 2022
  • Your insurance doesn’t cover the entire loss
  • Your business owns or leases the property
  • You are a sole proprietor or, you own at least 50% of the business and manage the day-to-day
  • Your yearly gross revenue is at least $10,000 and not more than $2,000,000

Non-profit. You can apply for non-profit funding if: 

  • Damage occurred during Hurricane Fiona on September 23 to 24th, 2022
  • Your insurance doesn’t cover the entire loss
  • Your organization owns the property
  • Your organization operates as a non-profit
  • Your organization operates a facility that is in the community’s interest and everyone has access to the facility 

Additional Support For Small Businesses 

A Small Business Hurricane Relief Program is also available to some small business owners. Eligible small businesses can apply for a one-time $2,500 grant to help cover the cost of unexpected businesses closure due to Hurricane Fiona. Assuming there are no issues with your application, it should take between two to four weeks after you apply to get your cheque. 

Eligibility for Small Business Hurricane Relief Program 

  • Hurricane Fiona prevented your business from operating for five or more days between September 23 to October 7, 2022
  • Business is registered with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies and has a Business Number from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • If your business is incorporated, the corporate tax rate was paid on income tax in the most recent tax year
  • Yearly gross revenue is $5,000,000 or less

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself From Natural Disasters?

While you can’t control what happens in a natural disaster, you can do your best to prepare. Ensuring you have the proper insurance is one way you can take action and give yourself additional peace of mind. 

While your regular home insurance might cover some unexpected events like damage from wind-related weather, including storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes, it usually won’t cover all types of disasters or certain types of damage caused by a disaster. For instance, your insurance might cover you if hurricane winds caused a tree to fall on your house, but not if you experience flooding due to a storm surge. Since every insurance policy is different, it’s important to review your policy to ensure you know what is and is not covered. 

If you feel there are gaps in your current coverage, you can often purchase extra insurance to better protect yourself from catastrophes, including hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. Having the proper insurance coverage can help to reduce the financial devastation that can accompany a natural disaster and prevent extreme financial consequences, including Bankruptcy.  

Speak to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) Today 

If you are dealing with debt and the recent hurricane has caused you additional financial concerns, make sure you review the government grants and support available to see if you are eligible for support. You can also reach out to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee if you have questions about your debt and how to manage it during this stressful time. Give us a call at 1-888-371-8900 to book a risk-free 30-minute call with one of our experts or fill out our online contact form. We are here to help. 

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Allan Marshall & Associates Inc.

Allan Marshall & Associates Inc. is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee firm in British Columbia, Alberta & the Maritimes. Our dedicated writing team consists of LIT's, counsellors, and debt administrators that help to write informative articles and answer questions about your debt issues.

We are licensed by the Federal Government of Canada to administer Personal Bankruptcies, Consumer Proposals, other insolvency services such as Credit Counselling. We have the knowledge and experience to assess your situation and offer the best advice for your particular need, whether you are a first time bankrupt or simply struggling to make ends meet.