2022 Hay River Flood Recovery

Disaster Financial Assistance

It is critical that anyone who intends to apply for Disaster Assistance be registered by the deadline so that your disaster assistance claims can be processed after your repairs are completed.

Pathfinders are available to help you. See contact information and registration forms below.


After a widespread disaster, the GNWT Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) may be implemented.

The DAP is not an insurance program to recover all losses. It is a government-funded assistance program to ensure essential community functioning and cover the essential basic needs of residents and businesses/organizations. Disaster assistance is limited to essential items, the loss of which was neither preventable nor insurable.


The DAP lays out criteria to be considered when determining whether the DAP should be applied, including:

  • The event was an emergency with damage so widespread that a significant number of people or properties were affected
  • The health, safety and welfare of the affected residents were at risk
  • The community conducted appropriate emergency operations
  • The community, small businesses and community governments made serious effort to protect property and minimize risk
  • The event meets criteria of the federal Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements.

Read the Disaster Assistance Funding Policy.

Who is eligible for disaster financial assistance?

Applicants can apply for disaster financial assistance if the Disaster Assistance Policy has been implemented, insurance coverage was not available, or the cost exceeded what insurance covers.


Damages are valued at more than $1,000.  

Small businesses

  • Damages are valued at more than $5,000
  • Business is owner-operated
  • Annual revenue is between $10,000 and $2 million
  • Business has no more than the equivalent of 20 full time employees

Non-profit organizations are eligible in the small business category if:

  • Damages are valued at more than $5,000.
  • Deliver an essential service (eg: food, shelter, addictions programming, or support for families experiencing family violence)
  • Registered and in good standing with the requirements of the Societies Act.

Local authorities (community governments):

  • Damages caused by the disaster are valued at more than five per cent of the operations and maintenance budget averaged over three years, as per audited financial statements. 

Applicants will need to provide documentation to show eligibility for any of these three categories. 

Disaster assistance is not insurance

While insurance may cover the loss or damage of anything that is insurable, Disaster Financial Assistance is a government-funded program to help with extraordinary costs that can’t be covered by any other funding source and ensure that people’s basic needs are met. 

Disaster Financial Assistance does not cover the following:

  • Damage, loss, depreciation, or deterioration not caused by the disaster
  • Damage outside the area identified
  • Damage or loss that were preventable or insurable at a reasonable cost.
  • Costs covered by insurance or any other source of funding
  • Non-essential losses (e.g., jewelry, art, swimming pools, seasonal decorations, sporting goods)
  • Inappropriately stored items
  • Repairs above basic and functional levels (buildings, landscaping, yard structures)
  • Repairs/replacement of recreational properties not being used as the primary residence
  • Repairs or replacement of any vehicles
  • Repairs to recreational trails
  • Costs associated with personal or animal injuries.
  • Insurance deductibles
  • The cost of repairing or replacing a home if it was built in an area after it was known or designated as being disaster-prone (e.g., flood zone).
    • Note: if mitigation measures have taken place, or a flood level exceeded the historic high-water mark, the cost of repairing or replacing a home may be eligible.
  • Property located in an area without appropriate land tenure
  • Loss of income while dealing with a disaster
  • Loan interest

Claim Categories

Disaster Financial Assistance is a government-funded program that uses public funds to ensure NWT residents have the basics if they are not already being compensated through insurance or any other funding source.

Applications are accepted for the following claim categories:

  • Displacement allowance for living expenses if you are unable to return to your home and no accommodation is available at an evacuation centre.
  • Damage prevention:
    • Cost of emergency abatement work or actions taken (e.g, rental of equipment to build ditches or embankments, item storage, re-connection fees for power, etc.)
    • Cost of cleanup or disinfection expenses (e.g., waste removal, water pumping, mold removal and mitigation, and contractor fees, equipment rentals and supply purchases, etc.)
  • Essential content of homes/buildings/infrastructure (e.g., furniture)
  • Repairing or replacing the structure of homes/buildings/infrastructure (only owners are eligible)
  • Mitigation enhancements (making changes during repairs to prevent future damages from a disaster, such as building elevation, using water-resistant building materials, installing protective plumbing measures)

Advance Payments

Applicants may need advance payments to help respond to urgent needs and can get a one-time advance payment of Disaster Financial Assistance. This advance payment will be deducted from the final disaster assistance claim.


  • Advance payment equal to 50 percent of the value of damages in a detailed damage assessment up to a maximum of $10,000.Under extraordinary circumstances, determined on a case-by-case basis, the full maximum amount available for a claim can be provided ($240,000).

Small businesses and non-profit organizations:

  • Advance payment equal to 50 percent of the value of damages in a  detaileddamage assessment, up to a maximum of $100,000. Under extraordinary circumstances, determined on a case-by-case basis, the full maximum amount available for a claim can be provided ($240,000).

Local authorities

  • Advance payment equal to 50 percent of the value of damage in a preliminary assessment, up to a maximum of 15 percent of the local authority’s revenue for the previous fiscal year.

Get help

GNWT Pathfinders can assist residents with the application process. Pathfinders can be contacted at:

Register for disaster assistance