Temporary relief is on the way for British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by Covid-19, with applications for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers opening May 1.
The BCEBW is a one-time, tax-free $1,000 payment for British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most people who are eligible for the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are also eligible for the BCEBW, including those who have run out of employment insurance (EI) benefits and subsequently qualify for the CERB.
To be eligible for the BCEBW, people must:
- have been a resident of British Columbia on March 15, 2020;
- meet the eligibility requirements for the CERB;
- have been approved for the CERB, even if they have not received a benefit yet;
- be at least 15 years old on the date of application;
- have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return; and
- not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance.
Starting May 1, applications can be made online, at any time, and a link to the application portal will be available at: www.gov.bc.ca/workerbenefit
Also starting May 1, people can call 1-855-955-3545, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for general support or questions. Applications over the phone will begin May 4.
Payments will start to go out within days of application. While there may be minor delays during the initial surge, government staff will be working to quickly process payments.
To review BCEBW eligibility and subscribe for notification when the application process opens online, visit www.gov.bc.ca/workerbenefit