COVID-19 Financial Support

Last updates September 2nd, 2020

Highlighted items indicate new/updated 

Below you will find a some of the financial supports that are available to people during the COVID-19 crisis (thank you MLA Bowinn MA for the template). Highlighted items indicate new/updated

For a full list of provincial government support please visit: gov.bc.ca/covid-19-provincial-support

For items marked “🍁”, contact your local MP or visit: canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

WORKERS & EMPLOYMENT
🧰 Job Search WorkBC Find private and public sector jobs listings; career information and career planning resources; employment services to help you find a job; resources for Indigenous people, mature workers, people with disabilities, youth, women, veterans and serving military members, and newcomers to B.C.
B.C. Farm, Fish and Food Job Connector Find private sector employment opportunities in British Columbia’s food and agriculture sectors.
B.C. Public Service Careers Find public service jobs with the B.C. government. There is also a new Indigenous applicant advisory service, providing advice and guidance for Indigenous people interested in public service careers.
2020 Youth Employment Program Provides those enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution within the last six months with fall employment opportunities in BC Parks and the Conservation Officer Service (COS), while receiving mentorship from existing BC Parks and COS staff.
Canada Job Bank Find private and public sector jobs by city or province as well as resources for career planning. 🍁
Canada Public Service Careers Find public service jobs with the federal public service. 🍁
Canada Student Service Grant Registered post-secondary students and recent graduates may be eligible for grants between $1000-$5000 for helping your community by volunteering with a local organization. 🍁
💵 Income Support Employment Insurance (EI) Program changes:

  • 120 hours of work required to qualify
  • Minimum benefit rate of $400 per week
  • At least 26 weeks of regular benefits

When your CERB benefits are exhausted, you may be able to continue receiving support through EI. If you were receiving CERB via the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) portal, you will need to submit a new application for EI. If you were receiving CERB via the Service Canada portal, you will automatically be rolled over into EI. 🍁

EI Sickness Benefit The one-week waiting period has been waived. Apply via CERB.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Provides $2000/month to workers impacted due to COVID-19, including contractors, self-employed people, seasonal workers, those whose EI benefits have recently expired, and workers making less than $1000/month from March 15 – Oct 3. Maximum benefit has been extended to 28 weeks. Apply online. 🍁
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers Provides a one-time additional tax-free payment of $1000 to eligible British Columbians on CERB. British Columbians who lost their ability to work between March 1–March 14, 2020 are also eligible. Apply online.
Pandemic Pay Provides eligible workers a lump-sum payment of ~$4/hr for a 16-weeks, starting on March 15. This boost is expected to benefit nearly 250,000 front-line workers providing critical public services to vulnerable populations where maintaining physical distancing is difficult or impossible in health, social services, and corrections. No application needed.
Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) This benefit has been proposed by the Government of Canada and requires legislation to be implemented. Will update this section when available.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) This benefit has been proposed by the Government of Canada and requires legislation to be implemented. Will update this section when available.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) This benefit has been proposed by the Government of Canada and requires legislation to be implemented. Will update this section when available.
🔹 Other Minimum Wage General minimum wage is increased to $14.60/hr. This is a previously scheduled wage increase.
Sick Leave Unlimited, unpaid job-protected leave for workers who are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19, retroactive to Jan 27, 2020. As a permanent change, workers now also have three days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for people who cannot work due to illness or injury.
Domestic Violence Leave Workers impacted by domestic violence are now entitled to five days of paid leave per year and an additional five days of unpaid leave per year to attend to matters relating to the aftermath of violence. This is a permanent change, unrelated to COVID-19.
Workers Compensation Changes Amongst other benefits, changes to the Workers Compensation Act will ensure that people who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 at work are able to access benefits more quickly.

 

HOUSING
⚡ BC Hydro BC Hydro is halting all service disconnections for non-payment of bills and reducing electricity rates by 1%.
COVID-19 Relief Fund applies a 3-month credit to your BC Hydro account for eligible customers (avg credit will be $477). Applications now closed.
COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program offers bill deferral and payment plans for customers struggling due to impacts of COVID-19. Customer Assistance: Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO
Customer Crisis Fund is an existing program that grants of up to $600 off your energy bill. Apply online.
🏦 Renters & Landlords ⛔️ Moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent will be lifted prior to September 1.
The emergency ban on evictions and entry into units by landlords is lifted. A repayment framework has been outlined to help renters and landlords to transition and tenants in arrears to maintain their housing when the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent is lifted ahead of Sept. 1, 2020.
More info.
Rental rates in British Columbia continue to be frozen until the end of November 2020. Increases may take effect on Dec 1, 2020. More info.
BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) provides up to $500/month towards rent, paid directly to landlords, for eligible renters for April – August. This program has ended.
🏘️ Homeowners Mortgage payment deferrals available for CMHC-insured loans. 🍁Check with your lender.
Check with your lender about payment deferral options for loans that are not CMHC-insured. 🍁Check with your lender.
Strata councils may meet virtually during COVID-19. More info.
🛏️ Emergency Housing Existing shelters still active and additional emergency options may be available. New spaces have been secured for those experiencing homelessness or without a safe place to self-isolate (including people fleeing domestic and sexual violence) in hotels and other sites. Contact your local shelter or transition home for placement support. Call 2-1-1 or search online.
INCOME ASSISTANCE & PERSONAL SUPPORTS FOR PEOPLE
👨‍👧 Low- and moderate- income households GST-credit will provide an additional one-time boost for eligible individuals in April. Benefit is paid out according to your income tax return. 🍁 More info here.
Climate Action Tax Credit will provide an additional one-time boost of up to $564 for eligible families of 4 and $218 for eligible individuals in an enhanced payment in July. Children under 18 years old must be registered for the CCB to qualify. No other action is needed; benefit is paid out according to your income tax return. Automatic payment in July.
👪 Families with children Canada Child Benefit (CCB) provides one-time boost of up to $300 per child in May. The maximum annual benefit has also been increased to $6,765 per child under age 6, and $5,708 per child aged 6 through 17. 🍁No action if you are already registered for CCB. Otherwise, apply online.
Temporary Emergency Funding (TEF) provides child care providers with emergency government funding on the condition that they not charge parents fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families, starting April until August 31, 2020. Check with your provider to see if they are in this program.
Child care matching service available for all working parents. 1-888-338-6622 or register online.
Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) services are available to families with greater flexibility until Aug 31, 2020. Flexible use of respite funding will continue until March 31, 2021. Emergency Relief Support Fund will provide eligible families with direct payments of $225/month until Sept 30, 2020 (three month extension). More info.
WE Schools @ home and EASE at Home (Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators) are new, free virtual educational programs available for students, parents and educators to support the mental health of K-12 children. More info.
School Districts are working with financially struggling families to:
– Ensure school meals programs are still available where needed; and
– Enable remote learning by K-12 students through technology loans and by working with internet service providers to offer low-cost internet, unlimited cellphone data plans, or local internet hotspots.
Contact your school principal.
🤸 Youth-in-Care Youth in Care will not age out of services during the pandemic. This protection has been extended to Sept 30, 2020. Youth living in foster care, contracted residential agencies or with relatives through the extended family program are able to stay where they are. More info.
Agreements With Young Adults Program (AYA) program payments to former youth-in-care will continue until Sept 30, 2020 (new extension) despite school closures and training interruptions. More info.
Youth Futures Education Fund (YFEF) will help youth who have aged out of government care and are ready to pursue post-secondary with expenses beyond tuition, such as rent, utilities and groceries. Apply via the Vancouver Foundation.
🎓 Post-Secondary Students Emergency Assistance available for students at public post-secondary institutions. Non-repayable funds can be used to help with a broad range of costs, including living expenses, food, travel, portable computers and other supports for students who are not already able to study remotely. Contact your school’s financial aid office to apply. See backgrounder for contact list.
Indigenous Emergency Assistance Fund available for Indigenous students at public post-secondary institutions can apply for non-repayable emergency assistance that can be used to help with a broad range of costs, including living expenses, groceries, cell phone bills, childcare, medical, dental, optical, and travel costs for family crisis or community obligations. Contact the Indigenous Student Service Centre on campus. See backgrounder for contact list.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) would provide eligible students and new graduates who do not qualify for CERB $1250/month or $1750/month to those with dependants or disabilities. 🍁 Apply online now.
Canada Student Service Grant will provide students who choose to do national service and serve their communities up to $5000 for their education in the fall. 🍁 Apply online now.
Canada Student Grants is an existing program. Maximum grants for eligible full-time students will be doubled to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled. 🍁 Apply online.
BC Access Grants provide non-repayable up-front grants of up to $4000 per student to low- and middle-income students. Students who apply for StudentAid BC will be automatically assessed for grant eligibility. This is a new program that is unrelated to COVID-19. Apply via StudentAid BC.
Temporary removal of the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function. 🍁 No application required. Learn more.
BC Student Loans repayments paused for six months without penaltystarting April. Repayment will be paused automatically.
Canada Student Loans repayments paused for six months without penaltystarting April. Maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 has been raised from $210 to $350. 🍁Repayment will be paused automatically.
Here2Talk provides free, confidential mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students by app, phone, or online chat, 24-7. Call 1-877-857-3397 to speak with a counsellor or get more information online.
💵 People on Income Assistance – Full exemption (no clawback) of CERB or CESB for April – October (extension!).
– COVID-19 Crisis Supplement of additional $300/month from April – December (extension!) for those who do not qualify for federal emergency supports like CERB or CESB.
– “Work search” requirement for those on Income Assistance is suspended for now.
No action required, support boosts will be applied to next payments automatically. More info here.
♿ People With Disabilities People on Disability Assistance:
– Full exemption (no clawback) of CERB or CESB for April – October (extension!).
– COVID-19 Crisis Supplement of additional $300/month from April – December (extension!) for those who do not qualify for federal emergency supports like CERB or CESB.
– Those on BC Bus Pass Program will receive their $52 transportation supplement back in cash for the months that transit bus fares are free. Transit fares return June 1.
No action required, support boosts will be applied to next payments automatically. More info here.
A one-time, non-taxable, and non-reportable payment of up to $600 will be made to people with disabilities who:
– Are holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate (eligible persons not yet in possession of such a certificate will be able to apply for one up to 60 days after today’s Royal Assent to be considered for the one-time payment);
– Currently receive Canada Pension Plan disability benefits or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits; or
– Are in receipt of disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.
🍁No action required, support payment will be automatically sent to eligible Canadians. More info here.
👵 Seniors COVID-19 Crisis Supplement: Low-income seniors who receive the B.C. Senior’s Supplement will receive an additional $300/month boost for April – December (extension!). No action required, support boosts will be applied to next payments automatically. More info here.
One-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). 🍁No action required. More info here.
Existing federal programs continue to be available, including:
– Canada Pension Plan Retirement Pension
– Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit
– Old Age Security (OAS): $614/mo (max)
– Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS): $916/mo (max)
– Allowance / Allowance for Survivor: $1389/mo (max)
🍁 Eligible seniors can apply online if they are not already enrolled.
Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs): Minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25% for 2020. 🍁 Learn more here.
bc211 is available for seniors who need support with non-medical essentials, like grocery pick-up and drop off. Call 2-1-1 or visit online.