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

An Ater-group Airon Slug identified during YES’s Bio-Blitz. (Yellow Point Ecological Society photo)
Yellow Point Ecological Society’s Bio-Blitz a big success

The Yellow Point Ecological Society held their first-ever Bio-Blitz over the weekend… Continue reading

Grade 12 LSS student Catherine Sampson, Grade 8 LSS student Cianna Vincent, and LSS Aboriginal Education teacher Brenda Kohlruss led the LSS ceremony honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith Secondary ceremony honours missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

A small ceremony was held in the LSS foyer on the National Day of Awareness for MMIWG

Peter and Wayne Richmond and 49th Parallel Grocery won the award for Business Achievement 20+ Employees at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s 22nd Black Tie Awards on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Submitted)
Ladysmith businesses recognized at Black Tie Awards

Black Tie Awards are given annually by the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce

Ladysmith’s Town Council met on May 4 and set a 0.52 percent increase for 2021 property taxes. (Town of Ladysmith/YouTube)
Town of Ladysmith sets 0.52 percent tax increase for 2021

Mayor Aaron Stone praises the increase as among the ‘lowest in the province’

The CVRD introduces new app to contact residents during emergencies. (CVRD photo)
CVRD launches new app to spread information during emergencies

Cowichan Alert is a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones, computers

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Vivian Hermansen, Snuneymuxw First Nation, initiator of petition e-3281. Photo by Karen Evans.
Status card wait times an example of systemic racism, says Campbell River woman

Snuneymuxw woman launches petition as people waiting up to two years, as passports take three weeks

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

Most Read