The New Brunswick government has released details about the disaster financial assistance program announced last month for people affected by the massive ice storm and the long-lasting power outages.
Residents can file claims for a variety of items, including gas used to operate a generator, uninsured losses or home damage, and the cleaning up of debris that posed a hazard, the government said in a statement.
Applications are available online and at Service New Brunswick offices. People can also apply by calling 1-888-298-8555.
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People with insurance are urged to contact their insurer first, however, because some losses, such as food spoiled during the power outage, may be covered, the statement said.
Anyone who has issues with their insurer can call the Office of the Consumer Advocate at 1-888-283-5111, it said.
How to claim
To claim gasoline used for a generator, people must submit receipts and a photograph of their generator, clearly showing the brand name and watt value.
Those who don't have receipts should ask the gas station to provide them with a printed or written receipt, with the word "paid" stamped on it.
To claim uninsurable losses or damage, people have to get their insurer to complete a form, justifying their coverage refusal.
Those without insurance are not guaranteed assistance.
"Not insuring your home is a choice, and does not make losses less insurable," the government statement said. "If you were insured, damages might be covered, so it would be considered an insurable loss."
Each situation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, it said.
Anyone who paid a professional team to clean up or cut broken trees or branches on their property can submit the bill to be refunded.
Those who did the work themselves will be reimbursed at a rate of $10.65 per hour but must submit before and after photographs, as well as a work log that includes the name of the person or persons who did the work, a description of the work, the dates and the hours spent each day.
New Brunswickers who lost food as a result of the Jan. 25 ice storm can also receive assistance from their local food banks.
In addition, the Canadian Red Cross is offering some financial assistance to those who lost food. People can register online at redcross.ca/NBIceStorm, or by calling 1-888-893-1300.
Social Development clients who may need extra emergency assistance should call their caseworker to find out what's available.
Premier Brian Gallant announced the financial assistance program on Jan. 31 at a news conference in Neguac.
The Acadian Peninsula was hardest hit by the ice storm. Thousands of NB Power customers went about 11 days without power.
At the peak of the outages,133,000 homes and businesses provincewide simultaneously had no electricity. In total, more than 200,000 NB Power customers were affected by the storm and its aftermath.
The provincial government contributed $200,000 to local food banks to aid in the relief effort.
Service New Brunswick centres are being set up to provide information to residents on disaster financial assistance and to Social Development clients.
These centres are located at:
- Caraquet SNB Service Centre, 127 St-Pierre Boul. West, Caraquet.
- Richibucto SNB Service Centre, Newstart building, 9239 Main St.
- Shippagan SNB Service Centre, 185B 1st St.
- Tracadie SNB Service Centre, Place du Moulin, 447 du Moulin St.