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

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

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)
Ocean Park Food Drive expands, open to residents south of 32 Avenue

Homeowners south of 32 Avenue and west of 160 Street encouraged to put donations on doorstep

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Missing man found safe, Surrey RCMP said

Riley Arnold- Higgenbottom was last seen at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 28 in the 18900-block of 69 A Avenue

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read