Nova Scotians who lost income because of the recent wildfires in Halifax Regional Municipality and Shelburne County may be eligible for short-term financial support through the Emergency Relief Grant for Individuals.
Employed and self-employed Nova Scotians who are not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) and those who had or are in an EI waiting period may qualify for this relief grant. The amount of the short-term emergency grant, either $275 or $550 per week, depends on the extent of the impact faced.
You are living and working in Nova Scotia.
You were employed or self-employed on 28 May 2023.
Your income was interrupted by the wildfires (you had or have no income or reduced income) under one of the following circumstances:
You or your employer are in a mandatory wildfire evacuation area and your income was interrupted; or
You or your employer are located outside the mandatory wildfire evacuation area and your employer had their business operations affected by the wildfire and your income was interrupted; or
You are self-employed, are either registered with the NS Registry of Joint Stock Companies, have a federal business number of filed self-employment income as part of your 2022 Income Tax, and were unable to operate your business, permanently or temporarily, due to the wildfires, and your income was interrupted; or
You are a volunteer firefighter who helped fight the Barrington Lake complex or Tantallon wildfires, including Farmers Dairy Lane, and you were unable to access paid voluntary leave from your employer during the period of 28 May to 17 June 2023.
You were not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) OR you had a period of time since 28 May 2023 when you did not receive EI.
The grant is a weekly grant.
The period of support can begin on May 28th or any time until August 10th, 2023.
The amount of the short-term emergency grant depends on the extent of the income interruption (you had/have no income, or you have reduced income).
Individuals who had a complete loss of income may receive $550 per week for the affected period.
Individuals who have had a partial loss of income may receive $275 per week for the affected period.
When your income returns to the same level as prior to 28 May 2023, when you start to receive Employment Insurance (EI), or when you reach the maximum of 8 weeks of weekly grant, you are no longer eligible for the program and your grant will end.
Before you start
Gather the information you will need to complete an online application.
- Date of birth
- Address (permanent address and temporary address if you have been relocated by the wildfires)
- Contact information (phone, alternative phone, and email)
- Direct deposit information for payment (you will be asked to attach a copy of your void cheque or banking institution’s direct deposit authorization form or opt to be paid by cheque).
Gather the information you will need to provide by phone.
Within 2 business days of applying, you will receive a follow-up phone call from Employment Nova Scotia staff so that you can provide information about your employment or self-employment situation to them by phone.
When you apply online you need to create an account or sign in. You can complete your application here.
You will also need to upload supporting documents such as direct deposit information or opt to be paid by cheque.