Help available for people with flood damages

Updated: Friday, October 21, 1:45 PM

Anyone with damages from the storm and flooding on October 10th can get financial help to rebuild and repair their homes and property.

The United Way Cape Breton and The Salvation Army — Maritime Division, with funding from the province and Cape Breton Regional Municipality, can help with urgent needs.

Every household affected by the flood can get up to $1000 to help with food, clothing, and other urgent items. All requests should go to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s helpline at 902–562-HELP (4357) or stormhelpline@cbrm.ns.ca.

The province has also announced a Disaster Financial Assistance Program. This program looks at damage to items that are uninsurable like basic household goods, appliances (washers, dryers, furnaces), and structural damage to the home. For information about this program, call 1–866–424–5620 or email emo@novascotia.ca.

How can I apply for Disaster Financial Assistance? 
• You can get application forms from Access Nova Scotia Centres, your town hall, or local MLA’s office. They are also online at www.novascotia.ca/flooding
• If you have insurance, you will need information from your insurance company to say whether you are insured, or not insured, for any storm damages. There is a one-page letter with the application form you give to your insurance company to fill out. 
• If you are not insured, please say that on your application. 
• If you have any questions or need help with the application, call 1–866–424–5620 or email emo@novascotia.ca.

Who can apply to this program? 
Homeowners, residents, and small businesses with revenues not exceeding $2 million can apply to the program. Non-profit organizations that provide essential services to their communities can also apply.

What is the maximum amount of money I can get? 
The maximum amount for individuals, small businesses, and non-profit organizations is $200,000. This amount has been increased from $80,000 to $200,000 given the damages related to this event.

How quickly will I get the money? 
We understand people need help now. Applications will be handled as quickly as possible. The timing depends on how complicated each case is.

What if I’m a renter? 
Renters are also eligible. People who are renting can apply to the program for the items lost in their home or apartment.

Is there a deductible? 
No. The $1,000 deductible has been waived.

What is covered? 
We work to bring your house back to the condition it was in before the damage. Some examples include fridges, stoves, washer, dryers, the furnace, as well as structural damage such as floors and walls.

When will my home be inspected? 
This work can take time, but there are many people working to help residents with clean up, assessments, and applying for help. CBRM and the province have been making good progress inspecting homes. To ensure your home gets inspected, please register your request with CBRM’s help line at 902–562-HELP (4357) or stormhelpline@cbrm.ns.ca.

If you have insurance, an insurance adjuster may also visit your home. This is a separate process. But the province will need to know what your insurance provider is willing to cover before any funding is paid through the Disaster Financial Assistance program.

What if I have damages that cost more than $200,000? 
We believe $200,000 is enough to cover damages to individual homeowners, small businesses and non-profit organizations. This amount has been increased from $80,000 to $200,000 given the damages related to this event.

How will my home be assessed? 
Once you’ve put in an application with all of the required information, someone will visit your home to assess the damage. We know that people need help now and applications will be handled as quickly as possible. The timing depends on how complicated each case is.

What if I have been told my insurance does not cover my losses? 
There is a one-page form that your insurance company will need to fill out to confirm you are not covered for your losses. This form needs to be included with your application.

What if I don’t have insurance? 
People without insurance may still be eligible for some coverage under the program. But it will not be the same as if they had insurance.

Here’s a simple example:

Homeowner A and Homeowner B both have $30,000 in damages but only Homeowner A has insurance. Homeowner A can get $15,000 covered by their insurance company and another $15,000 from the Disaster Financial Assistance program. Homeowner B would also receive $15,000 from the Disaster Financial Assistance program. Every situation is unique and applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

What documents do I need to send with my application? 
There is an application form and a one-page letter from your insurance company.

If I get money from the United Way or from CBRM, does that mean I can’t get money from the Disaster Financial Assistance Program or that I will get less? 
You are eligible for urgent funding and the Disaster Financial Assistance program but the same expense will not be covered twice.

Does the program cover damage to driveways? 
We know people need access to their homes. If you have damage to your driveway, apply to the program.

Does the program cover financial help for people who have lost their vehicles? 
This program does not cover damage to vehicles.

What if someone lives outside of Cape Breton but has been impacted by the heavy rainfall? 
We want to help as many people as we can. If you have damages from the October 10th storm and you live outside of Cape Breton, please send an application.