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

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

MISSING: Victoria police on the lookout for woman last seen April 28

Leah Parker, 41, is described five-foot-five and about 140 pounds with brown/blonde hair, blue eyes

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read