Disaster Relief Fund manager Kerry Chiappetta on Wednesday said people wanting to donate to the fund can do so until Jan. 31, even though the long-form claim deadline is firmly set on Oct. 31 at 4:30 p.m.
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THUNDER BAY -- Residents affected by May’s flooding and sewage disaster will not be getting an extension to file their long-form relief claims.
Wayne Fletcher, co-chairman of the Thunder Bay and Area Disaster Relief Fund, on Thursday reiterated the deadline is not changing and remains firm at 4:30 p.m. on Halloween.
It’s crunch time, Fletcher said.
“If they don’t then they won’t have a claim,” he said. “We’re going to hold fast to that. The only caveat I’ll put on that is that some individuals are having trouble getting estimates and we understand that, because contractors are very, very busy.
“What we’d like to emphasize is get the form in. If there’s some lack of information, because of what they’ve claimed, then we’ll get back to them. Because we understand there is an issue there.”
Fletcher said they received more than 500 short-form claims, which paid out $1,000 immediately to those affected by the disaster.
He’s expecting similar numbers by next Wednesday, though they’re nowhere close to that total yet.
“We have about 200 that have come in right now, just over 200,” he said. “It’s hard to say if that meets any expectations because we figured we could be in the 600 to 700-range. We’re not sure. Typically, I think because of the magnitude and the amount of information some of the forms I’ve helped through … it takes a long time to get that together.”
Fletcher said he suspected a lot of people will file at the last minute.
That’s just the nature of this type of situation.
“It takes a long time to get that together and some of them were waiting because they were waiting on estimates. So at this point I can understand why they might be right near the end. We’re just trying to say get them in, because you need to get them in,” Fletcher said.
The disaster relief fund, which is being matched two-for-one by the province thought the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program, is presently at about $1.13 million, well short of the $5-million goal committee members originally set.
Disaster Relief Committee manager Kerri Chiappetta reminded the public that even though the claim deadline is rapidly approaching, there is still plenty of time to donate to the fund, which will pay out up to 90 per cent of individual claim amounts, depending on how much is raised.
“The fundraising deadline has been extended to Jan. 31 to allow people who are fundraising over the Christmas holidays to fundraise on behalf of the Disaster Relief Fund and also to allow corporations to donate in 2013,” she said.
“We’re hearing lots of events happening in the community that are in support of disaster relief, so December will be a big month, as will January, for fundraising.”
Applicants submitting long-form claims can do as the Disaster Relief Committee office on the corner of at 401 Donald St. on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Applicants are required to submit identification showing their address at the time of the flood, such as a driver’s licence, or two other forms of ID, including property-tax bills, a birth certificate, a credit card or bank statement or a utility bill.
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