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B.C. prepares to open applications for COVID-19 financial assistance

B.C. residents will be able to apply for a tax-free benefit of up to $1,000 for families and $500 for individuals starting on December 18th, should the legislation pass.

The Province said families earning less than $125,000 will be eligible for $1,000, with a reduced amount going to families making up to $175,000. Single-parent families are also eligible for the benefit.

Individuals making less than $62,500 will be able to receive $500 from the provincial government, with a reduced benefit going to those earning up to $87,500.

“As 2020 draws to a close, we look back on a year like no other. British Columbians came together to face the challenge of COVID-19 with resilience and strength, but the road to recovery is still ahead of us,” said Premier John Horgan. “We have worked hard to get the B.C. Recovery Benefit to people as soon as possible. We are united with the millions of people and families who are wrapping up a difficult year and look forward to a new year with hope and the promise of a continued recovery.”

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If passed, the B.C. Recovery Benefit will secure funding for about 3.7 million British Columbians.

“We know that making ends meet during the holiday season is a concern for many families, even without the added stress of a pandemic. These additional supports will mean B.C. families will have extra dollars to spend when they need it most,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “These benefits will also help stimulate our local economy and support small businesses that are working hard and providing good jobs for people. This is an important part of how we recover.”

Additionally, B.C. residents receiving income assistance and disability assistance will also be eligible for the benefit. Those on income assistance, disability assistance and low-income seniors receiving the senior’s supplement will also receive an additional $150 per month from January to March 2021.

“This pandemic has had significant impacts on vulnerable populations so that’s why, unlike with the previous workers’ benefit, people on income or disability assistance will be eligible for the recovery benefit, and they will receive a recovery supplement of $150/month,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Coupled together, the recovery benefit and recovery supplement will provide vulnerable families with up to $1,900 during this difficult winter season.”

Applications for the new benefit can be found online starting on December 18th.

Those who are approved should see the benefit arriving in their bank account within a number of days, according to Minister Robinson.

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