Québec launches new disaster relief program with cap on flood compensation

Québec government moves ‘from words to action’ with general compensation and financial assistance program designed to speed up compensation with less paperwork

Read the original press release in French

Hudson, QC (Apr. 15, 2019) – Geneviève Guilbault, the Deputy Premier of Québec, Minister of Public Safety and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Region, has today announced a a new disaster relief program which comes into force today.

It was designed to better support disaster victims by enabling them, among other things, to obtain financial support more quickly and to know in advance the amounts to which they are entitled.

The new program will also set a hard limit on the amount of compensation available to homeowners in flood zones – just enough to cover relocation costs, if damages exceed $100,000 or 50% of a home’s value – which will motivate homeowners living in high-risk areas to move elsewhere.

“On my first day as Minister of Public Safety, the Prime Minister has given me a priority mandate: to simplify the lives of citizens who are dealing with the consequences of a disaster,” said Guilbaut. “Today, I am pleased to announce the implementation of this program, which allows us, as a new government, to move from words to action. Less time and a less complicated program, more flexible, more efficient, and above all, more humane! “

On October 19, 2018, the Québec Premier, François Legault, entrusted the Department of Public Security with the mandate to develop a general compensation and financial assistance program to replace the current General Financial Assistance Program. during actual or imminent disasters.

Highlights of the new program:

  • An allowance of $ 20 per day, from the 4th to the 100th day of evacuation, for temporary accommodation and supplies. When the victims receive a written notice informing them that work on the structure or on the ground floor will be necessary, they will be entitled to an allowance of $ 1,000 per month per residence to stay for a maximum of 6 months at place of $ 20 per day per person;
  • An allowance of $ 125 per day, for a residence, or $ 75 per day, for a dwelling, up to a maximum of $ 5,000, for temporary preventive measures, without any obligation to provide supporting documents;
  • Financial assistance equal to 100% of reasonable expenses incurred, up to a maximum of $ 1,000, for moving or storage expenses;
  • Compensation for damaged essential movable property;
  • A variable compensation depending on the level of water in the residence, the type of basement and its layout for emergency work carried out after a disaster. If the owner of the residence completes the work, it is now possible to receive an allowance of up to $ 4,000. If the owner carries out partial work that will be done by a contractor, he may receive compensation equal to 25% of the expected amount, in addition to obtaining a refund of 90% of the reasonable costs incurred by the contractor;
  • Financial assistance equal to 90% of the reasonable costs incurred for temporary work, such as opening openings or temporarily restoring electricity;
  • Compensation for damage to the principal residence, granted for each of the essential parts affected and variable according to the water level in the residence, the type of basement and its development, with financial assistance equal to 90% of the reasonable expenses incurred for the replacement or repair of certain equipment such as a well, septic tank or equipment for the disabled, as well as specialized work on the structure of the residence;
  • Financial assistance granted, in the case of successive floods, as a severance grant or to move or immunize the residence if the sum of the amounts paid over the years for the residence is equal to or greater than 50% of the cost, new or 100,000 $, the person who chooses to leave his residence will be entitled to the new cost of his residence, without exceeding $ 200,000;
  • Financial assistance equal to 90% of reasonable costs incurred for mitigation measures, such as installing a sump pump or moving an electrical box above the flood threshold.

To learn more, refer to the original press release (in French) or read CBC’s (English) coverage: “Quebec hopes to nudge homeowners out of flood zones with disaster relief program.”

SOURCE: Ministère de la Sécurité publique, Québec

(English translation by Google Translate)

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