Shane Simpson, B.C. minister of social development and poverty reduction (B.C. government)

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

People who receive income assistance and disability assistance payments in B.C. and don’t qualify for federal emergency aid will receive an additional $300 for the next three months, starting with cheques being issued April 22.

Social Development Minister Shane Simpson announced April 2 that the additional assistance will not require an application for people who receive the payments and are not eligible for emergency federal support programs.

The B.C. “COVID-19 crisis supplement” also applies to low-income seniors who receive the B.C. Seniors Supplement or a comfort allowance for those in special care. That payment, which has been $49 a month for about 250,000 people, will increase to $300 for April, May and June, Simpson said.

For those eligible for Employment Insurance benefits, including Ottawa’s new $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit, those payments will be exempt from income assistance guidelines for April, May and June. The current earning exemption for people on disability assistance is $12,000 per year, scheduled to increase to $15,000 as of January 2021.

“What this means is that for a number of British Columbians who are on income or disability assistance, they have an earning exemption,” Simpson said.

RELATED: Ottawa urges ‘stay at home’ as costs of financial aid rise

RELATED: More than 121,000 food service jobs have been lost in B.C.

With the current suspension of BC Transit and TransLink bus fares, those who receive the $52 transit supplement under the B.C. bus pass program will have it added to monthly payments for the duration of the fare suspension. That amount will also be included on assistance cheques.

“Existing Compass passes under the B.C. bus pass program will not be cancelled and will remain active during this time, so people will not need to reapply for bus passes in the future,” the ministry said in a statement.

Simpson urged income assistance recipients to avoid coming into social development ministry offices if possible. Online information and assistance applications are available at myselfserve.gov.bc.ca and help with applications can be reached at a toll-free number 1-866-866-0800.

More information on the B.C. program is available here.

For the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, applications are to open April 6. The federal application website is here.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Departure Bay terminal

B.C. Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Dump truck crash causes power outage in Nanaimo’s south end

No reports of injuries after crash Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

City of Nanaimo to hold invasive plant ‘drop zone’ event

Public invited to bring invasive plants to Bowen Park’s upper picnic shelter Saturday, May 30

International students ‘biggest unknown’ in Nanaimo school district’s budget planning

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ board will look at preliminary 2020-21 budget this week

Car cruise in Nanaimo lifts seniors’ spirits during pandemic

Cars 4 COVID includes Nanaimo Seniors Village in its route

Dump truck crash causes power outage in Nanaimo’s south end

No reports of injuries after crash Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

UPDATE: Woman airlifted with serious injuries, baby OK after crash in Nanaimo

Collision happened on Jingle Pot Road in East Wellington on Saturday afternoon

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read