Darryl Dyck - Canadian Press
Darryl Dyck - Canadian Press

Disaster Financial Assistance

Disaster Financial Assistance is a provincial program, administered by Emergency Management BC, to help individuals and local governments recover from uninsurable disasters.  

The purpose of Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) is to provide assistance to individuals for their principal residence and to help small business/farm owners when their livelihood is at risk. The DFA program may also reimburse local governments for damaged infrastructure. The DFA program operates under the Emergency Program Act and the corresponding Compensation and Disaster Financial Assistance Regulation. 

When is DFA Available?

  • Following a disaster, the provincial government may declare the event eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA).
  • Once declared, Emergency Management BC defines the eligible dates and geographic locations, notifies the affected local governments, posts this information on its website, publishes information in local papers, and if requested, attends community meetings.

Who is Eligible for DFA?

Local Governments and individuals in the private sector in the following categories are eligible:


  • Must be for the residence that is occupied by the individual as their home, where the majority of their personal effects are located, and the residence for which they received the provincial Home Owner Grant or were entitled to receive this grant.

Residential Tenant

  • Must be the residence that is occupied by the individual as their home and where the majority of their personal effects are located.

Small Business Owner

  • Must be the owner of a business that is managed by the applicant on a day to day basis, is the owner’s major source of income, has gross sales of less than $1 million per year, and employs less than 50 people at any one time.


  • Must be the owner of a farm operation that is identified by the BC Assessment Authority as an agricultural operation, is owned and operated by a person whose full time employment is as a farmer, and is the means by which the applicant derives the majority of their income.

Charitable Organization

  • Must be a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides a benefit or service to the community at large, has been in existence for at least 12 months, and is registered under the Society Act.

What is eligible for DFA?

  • DFA can compensate individuals for 80% of eligible claims, after the first $1,000 to a maximum claim of $300,000.
  • DFA is only for uninsurable losses and for losses where there is no other program offered by local, provincial, federal or international governments or agencies.
  • DFA is available for essential items only. It provides or reinstates the necessities of life, including help to repair and restore damaged homes and to re-establish or maintain the viability of small businesses and working farms.  Loss of land or damage to land (except for some farm land) is not eligible for DFA.
  • Insurable damages in the private sector such as snow load, wind damage, sewer or sump pit back-up, water entry from above ground (including roofs, windows or other areas of the building), are NOT eligible for DFA.
  • Damages from certain landslides may be eligible, if it can be shown that the landslide is the direct result of heavy rainfall or other sudden catastrophic event, and not caused by pre-existing slope instability.

For more information:

Additional information about the DFA Program, including specifics regarding eligible applicants, eligible losses and the application process can be found on the Disaster Financial Assistance page of the Emergency Management BC website. 


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