NWT residents who have left the territory because of wildfires can apply for $750 in funding from the GNWT if they’ve been out of work for seven days or more.
An announcement detailing the Evacuee Income Disruption Support was posted to the GNWT website on Saturday. In order to qualify for a subsidy, applicants must be 17 years of age or older and must show a loss of employment income because their employment has been disrupted due to an evacuation order.
Shareholders of a business who hold a 40 per cent stake or more and who are also employees of that business are not eligible to receive a payout.
Residents who want to apply need to be registered as an evacuee with the GNWT; provide proof of employment income; provide a declaration that they have lost income and have had no financial assistance from their employer and; supply adequate information for the GNWT to provide a T4A slip.
The benefit is taxable — payments made to eligible recipients will be subject to a 10 per cent withholding tax.
Pointing out the GNWT was also funding evacuation centres and food for evacuees, Premier Caroline Cochrane encouraged anyone put out of work to apply for employment insurance.
“It’s not a lot, we recognize that,” Cochrane said of the $750. “If (the evacuation) is longer than two weeks we’re hoping income support will kick in as well.”
Evacuees on income assistance who have direct deposit will also receive $500 per person or $1,000 per family.
Direct deposit must be set up to receive the funding. To sign up for direct deposit, call (855)-283-9311 if your last name begins with A to M, or (833)-995-7338 if your last name begins with N to Z. You can also use these numbers to apply for income assistance if you need it. Officials ask everyone to leave a message with contact and promise they will call people back.
Municipal and Community Affairs Minister Shane Thompson said people with household insurance should contact their insurance provider and see what options are available to them.
“There is money available through that as well,” he said.
William MacKay, deputy minister with the Department of Finance, said his department is looking for possible additional funding for evacuees but has no concrete plans yet.