Disaster Financial Assistance

When a natural disaster occurs, the Manitoba Government may declare the event eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA).

The Manitoba Emergency Measures Act allows the Manitoba Government to provide financial assistance if the event meets the criteria outlined in the Act. DFA is administered by the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO).

The Manitoba government will look at the impacts and circumstances of an event to determine if it meets the DFA program requirements. DFA programs are established after evaluation on a per event basis.

When you apply for DFA, the information that you provide on your application is used to determine if the event that impacted you is eligible for assistance.  For this reason, it is important to provide as much detail as possible about the specific date(s) of the event, the damage that occurred and the impact that it has had on your property.

A DFA program may be established by the Manitoba Government when the following criterion is met:

  • Insurance is not reasonably or readily available.
  • The event is an extraordinary natural disaster, causing widespread damage.

What Does DFA Help With?

Through the DFA program, the Manitoba Government helps Manitobans in their recovery from natural disaster by providing financial support for uninsurable losses to basic and essential property.

Examples of basic and essential property include but are not limited to the following:

  • Homeowners:  Beds, essential furnishings, essential clothing and primary applicances (Ex: furnaces, water heaters, fridges, stoves, computers and televisions).
  • Business owners: Supplies, essential work clothing and other necessities.
  • Agricultural claims: Livestock fencing, staged and stored crop and some field erosion. DFA may also help cover the cost of clean-up, repairs and temporary relocation.

It is important to remember that DFA is not a substitute for private insurance and DFA does not provide compensation for losses.

DFA provides assistance to help return property to its pre-disaster condition up to a maximum amount.

Eligibility

Homeowners:

  • For homeowners, the damaged property must be their primary place of residence, for example: seasonal cottages are not covered under DFA. Owners who live in their principal residences can apply for damages to the buildings as well as for personal possessions.

Tenants:

  • May apply for damages to personal possessions only if the rental property is their primary residence.

Farmers/Small Business Owners:

  • Farmers with yearly gross revenues of between $10,000 and $2 million and employing no more than the equivalent of 20 full time workers may apply.  The farm cannot be a hobby farm, it must be an owner-operated business and the owner-operator must be the day-to-day manager.
  • For a small business to qualify for assistance, it must earn more than $10,000 and less than $2 million in gross income and employ not more than the equivalent of 20 full-time employees.
  • The business must be an owner-operated enterprise where the individual owner-operator is acting as a day-to-day manager.

Non profit organizations:

  • An organization that operates “not-for-profit” and has a facility with unrestricted access by the community and provides essential services to the community may apply for assistance.

DFA is available for incurred costs only - The following items are typically determined to be eligible under the DFA program to a maximum pre-authorized amount:

  • Flood Response
    • The costs of responding to a flood may be eligible when directed by an authorized government official to:
      • Construction of temporary dikes. Eligible costs related to the construction of dikes are limited to the cost of purchased materials and equipment usage.
      • Operate water pumps and other equipment and machinery that stops or limits damage to essential infrastructure.
  • Mandatory Evacuation Costs
    • The costs to evacuate may be eligible when an authorized government official orders the evacuation of people or animals. 
      • DFA may help with costs related of temporary accommodations, food and other essentials based on Government of Manitoba approved rates.
  • Clean up, restoration, repair and replacement of essential items and property may be eligible including:
    • Removal of temporary dikes.
    • Clean up and removal of debris.
    • Repair and restoration of principal residences, essential buildings for small businesses and farms, limited amount of farmland affected by erosion.
    • Repair or replacement of essential possessions, harvested or stored crops, livestock fencing, inventory and equipment.
    • An innovative solution for damaged property as the result of an event may be considered on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Director of Recovery. An innovative solution is a repair or restoration activity that is both a functional and cost effective alternative to correcting event damages to pre-disaster condition.  In order to be considered eligible for assistance, innovative solutions must be submitted to Manitoba EMO for pre-approval. 

Ineligible costs include:

  • Insurable losses 
    • Damaged property or items that could have been insured at a reasonable and available rate are not eligible for DFA. Overland flood insurance may be available to some Manitobans at this time and insurance coverage will be reviewed on a case-by-base basis.
    • Insurable hazards including but not limited to: snow load, wind damage, sewer or sump pit back-up are not eligible for DFA.
  • Costs recoverable from any other government program
  • Losses that are recoverable at law
  • Non-essential items including but not limited to:
    • jewelry,  cosmetics, documents and books, recreation and pleasure items, household tools, seasonal decorations, sporting goods, snowmobiles, ATVs, trailers, sophisticated audio and video equipment, fur coats
    • recreational property and private roads
    • lawn and garden damage
    • fences (residential or decorative)
  • Loss of income and opportunity
  • Inconveniences
  • Normal operating costs
  • Upgrading existing facilities
  • Damage that is a normal risk of trade, occupation or enterprise

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Mandatory Documents

You are required to provide the following documents to Manitoba EMO in order for your DFA claim to be considered:

  • A signed original copy of the Financial Assistance Agreement (PDF 39KB). The name listed on the Financial Assistance Agreement must match the name indicated on tax documents submitted to Manitoba EMO.
  • Letter from insurance provider detailing insurance coverage for the reported impacts.
  • For Private Residential Claims:
    • The most recent Property Tax Bill-To confirm property value, property ownership and primary residence. 
    • Tenants – proof of residency for the time period of the event (e.g. Manitoba drivers license or health card, rental agreement)
  • For farm, business or non-profit organization claims:
    • The most recent Property Tax Bill(s) – To confirm property value and property ownership to all affected parcels of land and structures.
    • Sole proprietorship - The most recent T1 General or notarized proof of income and Statements of Income and Expense.
    • Partnership - Copy of the applicant's partnership agreement and the most recentT1 Generals and Statements of Income and Expense.
    • Limited company - Copy of the applicant's Articles of Incorporation and the most recent Income Tax Return and Statements of income and expense.
    • For non-profit organization - Copy of documentation to verify your eligibility as a non-profit organization (e.g. Revenue Canada charitable organization registration number). Also, appropriate documentation verifying that their service or program provides unrestricted access to all members of the community (e.g. letter on appropriate letterhead signed by an approved program designate or organizer)
  • For farm applications with damage to rented land where repairs are delegated by the land owner to the tenant, the Land Owner's Authorization (PDF 17KB) must be completed and signed by the landowner.

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Impacted by a Natural Disaster? Follow These Steps:

Step 1

  • Take every possible practical action to reduce the impact of damage to your property.  Following a disaster, actions to reduce impacts should begin as soon as it is safe and practical to do so (i.e. cleaning, stripping and drying property and goods quickly).  The Recover from Disaster page provides additional information and links about re-entry and cleaning up from a disaster.
  • Photograph all damaged property and items.
  • Contact your insurance provider to find out what costs may be covered under your insurance policy. Request a letter from your insurance provider detailing insurance coverage for reported impacts.
  • Notify your local municipality that you have been impacted by a disaster.
  • Photograph and document all repairs and activities that you undertake.
  • Keep track of all of your disaster related activities and expenses, before, during and after the event. 
    • Document:  
      • Labour and equipment hours
      • Materials used including quantities as well as
      • Specific type of equipment used including:
        • Make
        • Model
        • Year
        • Horsepower
        • Any attachments used
  • Keep all receipts, invoices and any other documents for disaster related expenses as they are required in order to support your DFA claim. Invoices submitted to Manitoba EMO must be accompanied by the corresponding proof of payment (e.g. credit/debit slip, cancelled cheque) in order to be considered for eligibility.

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Step 2

  • Get a DFA application:
  • Fill out application:
    • Applications for property damage to private residences must be filled out by the owner.
    • Applications for damage to personal possessions in rental properties must be filled out by the tenant.
    • Applications for farm land that is rented where repairs are delegated by the land owner to the tenant must be supported by a signed Land Owner's Authorization form (PDF 17KB).
  • Return the application to Manitoba EMO:
    • Email: dfa@gov.mb.ca or;
    • Mail
          Disaster Financial Assistance
          Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization
          1525-405 Broadway
          Winnipeg, Manitoba
          R3C 3L6

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Step 3

  • Once you have submitted your application for DFA, you will be contacted by a Manitoba EMO representative, who will do a preliminary screening of your claim.
  • You will be notified by letter if the preliminary assessment of your claim indicates that you are not eligible for DFA or that you do not have eligible costs.  In such a case, the onsite inspection will not take place. 
  • If the preliminary assessment of your claim suggests that you may be eligible for DFA, an onsite inspection will be arranged.
    • An onsite inspection does not imply that you are eligible to receive DFA.
  • Information obtained from the onsite inspection and any subsequent submissions to EMO will be evaluated in accordance with DFA policies and guidelines to determine if assistance is available to you.
  • Assistance payments will be mailed to you when all required documentation has been submitted and verified by EMO. Payments may only be processed when all mandatory documents have been supplied to EMO for verification. 
    • Partial payments based on work completed to date may be available to you. 
  • Invoices to demonstrate that repairs have been completed and that costs have been incurred are required.   Original proof of payment such as a cancelled cheque must also be submitted to EMO.
  • All invoices or other documents detailing disaster-related expenses must reach our office or be post-marked by the program closure date.
    • Critical dates will be communicated to you by letter when you are accepted into the DFA program.
    • DFA programs are open for a period of one year.  Applicants must complete repairs and submit all the required documentation to Manitoba EMO by the program closure date.
    • In exceptional circumstances, claim extensions may be requested if more time is required in order to restore your property to its pre-disaster condition.  Formal extension requests must be submitted in writing before the program closure date and will be granted at the discretion of the Director of Recovery.

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DFA Limitations

DFA provides support for a portion of the incurred costs related to restoring basic and essential property to its pre-disaster condition. 

Assistance for eligible costs is available up to a standard pre-approved maximum amount - A standard 20% deductible is applied to all assistance payments.

For example, let’s consider the maximum assistance available for a couch:

  • A homeowner owns a couch that cost $1,200.00 to purchase.
  • The couch is damaged in a natural disaster.
  • The Government of Manitoba establishes a DFA program for this disaster and the damage is eligible.
  • The maximum amount of DFA available for a primary couch is $700.00.
  • A standard 20% deductible is applied to assistance payments, therefore the maximum eligible amount of assistance for replacing the damaged couch is $560.00.

Total Assistance Available per DFA Claim
Per claim, the maximum total amount of assistance available under DFA is $300,000 less the standard 20% deductible for a maximum payable assistance of $240,000.

  • Please note that the maximum payable assistance is determined by identifying the lesser of the following amounts in each specific situation:
      • The assessed value based on the amount reported on the most recent Property Tax Bill or;
      • The estimated cost of repairs required to return the property to pre-disaster condition or;
      • The estimated cost to replace the damaged property.
    • For example: 
      • The home is assessed at $100,000.
      • The home is damaged by a natural disaster.
      • The Government of Manitoba establishes a DFA program for this disaster and the damages are eligible.
      • The home has damages estimated at $65,000.
      • To replace the home it would cost $180,000.
      • The maximum amount of DFA available for the home is $65,000.
      • A standard 20% deductible is applied to assistance payments, therefore the maximum eligible amount of assistance for repairing the home is $52,000.

Not all incurred costs are eligible for DFA and therefore it is important for you to consult with a representative at Manitoba EMO to fully understand the amount of assistance that may be available to you.

Please also note:

  • If you receive assistance or funding from any another source, including your insurance provider, it is your responsibility to make Manitoba EMO aware of this funding.
  • DFA programs are open for a period of one year, all repairs must be done and required documents must be submitted to Manitoba EMO by the program closure date.

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I Have Questions About DFA, Who Should I Phone?

  • Contact Manitoba EMO at 204-945-3050 in Winnipeg; toll free 1-888-267-8298 in Manitoba, our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
  • Should you have an existing DFA claim for which you have questions, please have your claim number ready when you phone us. Using your claim number, we are able to connect you with the representative who is working on your DFA claim.

Appeals

If your claim has been accepted into the DFA program and you believe that you have not received all of the assistance to which you believe you are entitled, an appeal process is available to you. For more information view the appeal process details or contact Manitoba EMO.

Additional Information


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