Flood Assistance Payment Q&As
What the end of the flood assistance debit card program means for you
Why is the flood assistance payment program ending?
The program was created to help residents cover extraordinary costs from having to evacuate a primary residence. Funding could be used for immediate housing needs and day-to-day purchases, limiting out of pocket expenses.There are now longer-term supports available to help Albertans rebuild.
When will the flood assistance payment program end?
The flood assistance payment program will end at 4:00 p.m. on September 30, 2013.
How do I get a flood assistance payment before it ends?
Albertans who believe they qualify for the flood assistance payment have until 4:00 p.m. on September 30, 2013 to visit an Alberta Works office to apply for a payment. For more information, call 310-4455 toll-free in Alberta or 1-866-825-4455 out-of-province from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. MDT.
What if I don’t qualify for the flood assistance payment, but I’m in need of financial support?
- Eligible Albertans requiring emergency benefits will continue to be able to access supports through the Alberta Works Income Support program.
- Additional flood relief benefits are available through the Canadian Red Cross.
Qualifying for the flood assistance payment
How much are the flood assistance payments, including pre-loaded debit cards?
Albertans who qualify will be able to get $1,250 for each adult and $500 for each child under 18 to transition through this ordeal.
How do I know if I qualify for the flood assistance payment?
You are eligible for the flood assistance payment if you were issued an evacuation order and you declare your inability to return to your primary residence for a minimum of 7 days.
When are others living in my household considered to be dependents?
- children under 18 years who live in the same household as a parent or guardian, or,
- individuals 18 and older with impaired physical or mental functions that cause them to live with parents or legal guardians in the evacuated area, and are completely dependent for support.
Youth under 18 years who live in a household with neither a parent nor legal guardian will be assessed for funding case-by-case.
Are adult children who live at home with their parents eligible for the adult flood assistance payment?
Yes. All Albertans 18 and older who can produce documentation showing their primary residence was in the affected flood evacuation areas will be eligible for the adult flood assistance payment.
Will residents who chose not to leave their homes be able to get the flood assistance payment?
Residents who were issued an evacuation order and opted to stay will not receive the flood assistance payment.
Can I get the flood assistance payment if I was evacuated, but was away from my home for less than seven days?
No, the criteria states that you must be away from your primary residence for a minimum seven days to qualify.
Can on-reserve Aboriginal and Metis Albertans get the flood assistance payment?
Yes, we’re all Albertans. We worked with the Chief and Council of affected First Nations communities to deliver cards to eligible households that have been evacuated.
Can temporary foreign workers who’ve been evacuated get the flood assistance payment?
Yes, temporary foreign workers who meet the eligibility requirements are able to get the flood assistance payment.
Are international students eligible for the flood emergency benefit?
International students are eligible for the flood emergency benefit if they are in possession of visas allowing them to study and live in Canada, and are responsible for paying rent for their apartments, and meet the criteria of being evacuated for 7 or more days.
Can evacuated Albertans who currently receive provincial income support or AISH benefits get the flood assistance payment?
Yes, evacuated Albertans who currently receive provincial income support or AISH benefits would be eligible to receive the flood assistance payment under the same criteria as other evacuees. The funding will not be deducted against their regular monthly financial support.
Can Albertans who were evacuated from supportive living facilities, such as seniors’ lodges, nursing homes or extended care facilities get the flood assistance payment?
The flood assistance payment is intended to assist Albertans who incurred extraordinary expenses as a result of being evacuated from their homes. Individuals who were evacuated from supportive living facilities may apply for the flood assistance payment if they incurred extraordinary personal expenses related to their evacuation. However, if their evacuation was arranged by their facility and the facility is continuing to support them during the evacuation and through their return, they will not be eligible for the flood assistance payment.
Can I get the flood assistance payment if I was in sheltered housing?
If you were residing in emergency or temporary shelters prior to the flood, you already have your needs met through various municipal and provincial support systems. Arrangements were also made by these same authorities to continue to support you during the evacuation and then your return.
Can I get the flood assistance payment for my second home or cabin in an evacuated region?
You are only eligible for the flood assistance payment for the primary residence you live in on a full-time daily basis. You cannot get the flood assistance payment for a second home you live in on an irregular or part-time basis.
If a husband and wife are separated or divorced, but have joint custody of the children, which parent will receive the child flood assistance payment?
In cases of separation, each parent may receive the child flood assistance payment providing there is a shared parenting agreement in place which states the dependent child resides with each parent in a given month.
If I was away on vacation at the time of the flooding, but my home is in an area that was evacuated, will I qualify for the flood assistance payment?
We are currently reviewing the policies in this area and will have an answer shortly.
Getting the flood assistance payment
How do I apply for the flood assistance payment?
One adult can apply for flood assistance payments for all members in a household by following a few simple steps:
- Bring identification documents to an Alberta Works office:
- Social insurance number for you and your spouse or partner and photo identification (ID) such as driver’s licence, passport, student ID or employee ID.
- Proof of relationships within the evacuated household such as a health care card, marriage licence, birth certificate or passport.
- Proof your primary home address is within an evacuation zone, such as car registration, insurance papers, utility bills, lease or rental receipt.
What if I don’t have any identification because I lost it in the floods?
Alternate arrangements can be made if you don’t have a SIN card, photo ID, or proof of where you live. You can still get the flood assistance payment by making a statutory declaration.
Are you providing transportation so I can get to Alberta Works offices?
Transportation has not been arranged as community members have been assisting and supporting one another in getting to Alberta Works offices.
Can I send somebody else to pick up my flood assistance payment?
We recognize travel to an Alberta Works office might be difficult for some residents. A friend or family member can represent you and bring documents to prove your primary residence is in the evacuation zone. They will need to sign a statutory declaration to state your relationship.
The same applies for anyone who was working out of town, in hospital or on vacation when the floods happened. Your representative will need to explain your absence.
Evacuees who cannot find a representative or visit an Alberta Works office can discuss options with an operator at 310-4455 toll-free in Alberta or 1-866-825-4455 out-of-province from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MDT.
Where can I get the flood assistance payment?
Select Alberta Works offices will process flood assistance payments beginning Monday, July 8, for families who were evacuated due to recent flooding can and who were unable to access temporary debit card distribution facilities. Flood assistance payments may be issued as a cheque or a pre-loaded debit card. Call 310-4455 toll-free in Alberta or 1-866-825-4455 out-of-province from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MDT for more information.
How long will it take to get my flood assistance payment?
You’ll get the flood assistance payment the same day you go into an Alberta Works office.
Can people get more than one flood assistance payment by going to more than one reception centres?
No. The computer systems are connected and track individuals who have received the flood assistance payment.
How do I report wrong doing or fraudulent activity regarding the flood assistance payment?
Any incidence of alleged fraudulent activity with the flood assistance payment (including preloaded debit cards) should be reported to the Alberta Human Services Investigation Unit
- Toll-free in Alberta: 310 0000, then 780-643-6584
- Edmonton: 780-643-6584
Using the flood assistance payment
How can I use the flood assistance payment?
The flood assistance payment is intended to be used responsibly to support Albertans with expenses related to being evacuated. We have not set up rules on how to spend the money.
Does the flood assistance payment need to be claimed as taxable income?
No, the flood assistance payment is exempt from provincial and federal income tax.
Which pre-paid debit card service fees is the Government of Alberta covering?
The Government of Alberta is covering most service fees on the pre-paid debit card, including balance inquiries and purchase/return fees. You will be responsible for service fees that some ATMs charge. For evacuated Albertans who received their pre-loaded debit cards at Nanton or Vulcan sites, any incurred debit card charges are being reversed manually. This takes time. Charges may be grouped and then credited to each card as one deposit. For all other evacuated Albertans who received pre-loaded debit cards, charges are automatically waived.
What should I do if I am being charged for service fees I thought were covered? Am I responsible for these fees?
If you’re being charged service fees you thought were covered, please contact Iridium MasterCard’s customer support centre at 1-866-357-6546 or visit www.iridiumcard.ca and click 'contact us'. You’ll need to give your card number and some other information to verify who you are. Iridium will look through your service fees and let you know which ones you’ll need to pay. Service fees that are covered by the Government of Alberta will be manually reversed as a group and credited to your card as one deposit. This won’t happen immediately. It will take some time as the process is not computer automated.
What should I do if my pre-paid debit card is lost or stolen?
Please contact Iridium immediately if your card has been lost or stolen. You can call their 24/7 customer support centre at 1-866-357-6546 or visit www.iridiumcard.ca and click “contact us”. You’ll need to give your card number and some other information to verify who you are.
If the card is lost, Iridium will freeze the card number for 24 hours to give you time to continue looking for it. If the card is stolen, Iridium will freeze the card, and in two working days you can go to a select Alberta Works Centre and get a cheque for the amount that was remaining on your card.
Finding other supports
What should I do if I don’t qualify for the flood assistance payment for evacuees and don’t have any money now?
Affected low-income Albertans can get additional information and support through an emergency needs allowance. Please call the 24-hour income support contact centre at 1-866-644-5135, then press 1 to find out more. Or go to an Alberta Works office in your community.
Additional flood relief benefits are available through the Canadian Red Cross.
Can blind people get help learning new routes in flooded areas?
Yes, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) is available to help individuals who are blind or partially sighted learn new routes around flood affected areas. Call 403-266-8831 for assistance.
For the latest information, visit http://alberta.ca/recoveryinformation.cfm or call 310-4455 toll-free in Alberta or 1-866-825-4455 out-of-province from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. MDT.