BC Recovery Benefit
Apply now for the BC Recovery Benefit, a one-time, tax-free payment of up to $1,000 for eligible families and single parents and up to $500 for eligible individuals. You have until June 30, 2021 to apply.
Last updated: May 14, 2021
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The BC Recovery Benefit (the benefit) is a one-time direct deposit payment for eligible families, single parents or individuals. Benefit eligibility is based on net income from your 2019 tax return. You must apply to receive the benefit.
The amount you’re eligible for will be automatically calculated based on your net income.
Families and single parents
- $1,000 for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $125,000
- Reduced benefit amount for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $175,000
The benefit defines a family as an individual and their spouse or common-law partner, unless they are separated. Both people must be residents of B.C. on December 18, 2020.
The benefit defines a single parent as an individual who is the only parent residing with the child in B.C. and who is the principal caregiver to at least one child.
A child is someone under the age of 19 on December 18, 2020 who would not be eligible for the benefit on their own. However, if payments were made for the child under the Children's Special Allowance Act (Canada) for December 2020, you cannot claim the benefit in respect of that child.
- $500 for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $62,500
- Reduced benefit amount for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $87,500
Using 2019 income tax data
As with the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, in order to prevent fraudulent claims, applicants must provide 2019 income tax data to receive the benefit.
British Columbians need support now, and if the benefit relied on 2020 income tax data, payment wouldn’t be possible until approximately fall 2021.
Generally, the benefit is available to people:
- Who were residents of B.C. on December 18, 2020
- Who were at least 19 years old on December 18, 2020, or meet specific eligibility criteria
- Who filed a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return, or meet specific eligibility criteria
- Who have a valid social insurance number, individual tax number or temporary tax number
If you receive a payment and we later determine that you’re not eligible for it, you will be required to repay it.
Note: If you’re applying for the family benefit, your spouse or common-law partner must also meet the eligibility criteria.
You’re likely a resident of B.C. on December 18, 2020 if you lived in the province on that date. If you’re unsure if you qualify as a resident, review the residency eligibility.
Filing 2020 taxes
If you are filing your 2020 tax return as a resident of B.C. and you were a resident in B.C. on December 18, 2020, you’re a resident of B.C. for this benefit.
Temporarily living in another province
If you physically resided outside B.C. on December 18, 2020 but B.C. is where you usually live, and you're filing your 2020 tax return as a resident of B.C., you’re a resident in B.C. for this benefit.
This could include students who attend school outside of B.C.
Deemed resident of Canada
If you were a deemed resident of Canada, you’re not a resident of B.C. and aren’t eligible for the benefit.
Deemed residents of Canada aren’t eligible for other provincial benefits paid through the income tax system and are not generally liable for B.C. income tax.
You can use your residential ties to determine if you’re a resident of B.C. Your primary residential ties include your:
- Home (owned or leased) and personal property
- Spouse or common-law partner
There are secondary residential ties that could determine your B.C. residency. To evaluate their significance, these ties must be looked at collectively. They can include your:
- Personal property in B.C. like furniture, clothing, automobiles and recreational vehicles
- Social ties with B.C. including memberships in B.C. recreational or religious organizations
- Economic ties with B.C. including employment with a B.C. employer, active involvement in a B.C. business, bank accounts, retirement savings plans, credit cards and securities accounts
- Enrollment in the Medical Services Plan
- B.C. driver's licence
- Vehicle registration in B.C.
- Seasonal dwelling place in B.C.
- Memberships in B.C. unions or professional organizations
Specific eligibility criteria
The following circumstances may affect eligibility for the benefit.
If you’re a B.C. resident but your spouse is not, you can only apply for the individual benefit.
If you’re the principal caregiver of at least one child who resides with you in B.C., you can apply for the single parent benefit. You’re considered the principal caregiver if you have primary responsibility for the child most of the time.
If you are living apart from your spouse or common-law partner for a period of at least 90 days because of a breakdown in the relationship and you have not reconciled, you are considered separated for the purpose of the benefit.
The effective day of your separated status is the day you started living apart.
Each person may apply for the benefit if all eligibility criteria are met.
If you’re separated and have shared custody of your child or children, each parent can apply for the individual benefit.
You may be able to apply for the single parent benefit if you’re the principal caregiver to at least one child. You’re considered the principal caregiver if you have primary responsibility for the child most of the time.
Note: If you're a shared-custody parent for the Canada Child Benefit or the GST/HST credit, you’re not considered the principal caregiver for the child.
Income tax return
If you were required to file a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return, but have not done so yet, you must file a 2019 return before applying for the benefit.
If you were not required to file a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return because you earned less than $12,200 and met other criteria exempting you, you’ll still need to file a 2019 return before applying for the benefit.
If your spouse or common-law partner on December 18, 2020 was not required to file a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return you can still apply for the family benefit without their return if:
- Your spouse or common-law partner was not a resident in Canada at any time in 2019, or
- You have:
- Filed your 2019 Canadian personal income tax return and reported you were married to or in a common-law relationship, and
- Claimed the spouse or common-law partner amount on line 30300 of your 2019 Canadian personal income tax return
If you’re not required to file a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return because you became resident in Canada for tax purposes during 2020, you can still apply for the benefit.
You will be required to include your income from all sources for 2019.
- All amounts must be converted into Canadian dollars using the Bank of Canada exchange rate in effect when you received the income
- We will require documentation to support your income
If you received a payment for income assistance, disability assistance, seniors’ supplement, hardship allowance or comfort allowance anytime for the month of January or February 2021, you automatically receive the full benefit amount.
- You don’t need to apply. You’ll receive the benefit payment the same way you received your social support program payment if you haven't received the benefit previously
If you started receiving social support payments for March 2021 or later, you need to apply for the benefit.
If you or your spouse or common-law partner became bankrupt in 2019, the amount of the benefit you’re eligible for is based on the total of your pre- and post-bankruptcy income.
When applying for the benefit, enter the total of the lines 23600 from the pre- and post-bankruptcy returns.
If you were confined to a prison or similar institution for a period of 90 days or longer that includes December 18, 2020, you’re not eligible for the benefit.
A deceased individual’s estate can apply for the individual benefit if the individual was alive on December 18, 2020.
If you were married or in a common-law relationship on December 18, 2020 and your partner has since died, you can still apply for the family benefit instead of the individual benefit.
If you’re an employee of a foreign country, or a family member of an employee of a foreign country, and you’re exempt from paying income tax in Canada, you’re not eligible for the benefit.
People under 19
To be eligible for this benefit, you must be at least 19 years old on December 18, 2020, unless you have a spouse or common-law partner or are a parent of a child who resides with you.
If you’re under 19 and live with a spouse or common-law partner, you can apply for the family benefit.
If you’re under 19 and are the principal caregiver to at least one child, you can apply for the single parent benefit. You’re considered the principal caregiver if you have primary responsibility for the child most of the time.
Net income from your 2019 Notice of Assessment
You must provide your net income from your 2019 Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency. This number can be found on Line 23600 of your most recent 2019 Notice of Assessment.
If you haven’t already filed your 2019 tax return, file with the Canada Revenue Agency as soon as possible before applying for the benefit. The Canada Revenue Agency will issue your Notice of Assessment after they finish processing your tax return.
There are multiple ways to file, including:
- Online, by paper or by phone
- Free tax clinics for people with modest income and a simple tax situation. Find a tax clinic
Social insurance number
When you apply, we’ll need your social insurance number, individual tax number, or temporary tax number to verify your eligibility.
Driver's licence number
If you have a B.C. driver’s licence, you must provide your driver’s licence number. This information will be used to help detect and stop fraudulent claims.
When you apply, you're required to verify your mailing address with Canada Post. This makes sure any information we mail you is delivered to the correct address.
To verify, the application will ask you to use the Verify Address With Canada Post tool. You can either select the “Verified” or “As Entered” option for your address. If we can't find your address, make sure you've entered it correctly and try again.
If your address is not recognized, it may be unverified. You can continue with your application, but there could be a delay in processing your application.
Direct deposit information
The benefit will be issued by direct deposit. You must have an account with a Canadian financial institution to receive the benefit.
If you were on income assistance, disability assistance, seniors’ supplement, hardship allowance or comfort allowance in December 2020 or January 2021, you’ll receive the benefit payment the same way you received your social support program payment.
Get your direct deposit information from a personal cheque or from your financial institution.
Be prepared to provide:
- Branch (transit) number
- Institution number
- Account number
The image shows how to find the required numbers on a personal cheque.
You can apply online, over the phone or at a Service BC computer terminal. Applications are open until June 30, 2021.
All applications will be verified. In specific circumstances, we may contact you to request additional information to verify your eligibility.
Note: If you're applying as a family, submit only one application. Additional applications delay processing of payment.
Applying online is the fastest way to get your payment.
Take your time when applying. Errors or incomplete information can cause long delays in processing your application.
This process takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
You can use your desktop, tablet or smart phone. Your personal information is protected and secure.
After submitting, we'll email you a confirmation number.
You can apply by phone with the help of our agents. Translation services are available to help you.
We anticipate high call volumes and strongly recommend applying online if you can.
Our agents will complete the application with you and give you a Case ID number when you're done.
Call us Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, excluding statutory holidays.
No computer access
If you don't have a computer or access to the internet, you can visit a Service BC location near you to use a computer terminal. Terminals are not available at Service BC locations in Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver.
Submit eligibility documentation
If we’re unable to automatically verify your eligibility based on the information we have, you may be asked to submit additional documents to support your application, including your confirmation number or Case ID. You can submit in two ways.
Use our secure document uploader tool. This is the fastest and most secure way to send documentation.
BC Recovery Benefit
Ministry of Finance
PO BOX 9439 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9V3
We strongly recommend that you do not send personal information by email, due to the risk that it may get intercepted. We will process your supporting documents as quickly as possible, though high volumes may result in delays.
If you have questions about the documentation you’ve been asked to provide, contact us at BCRBPsupport@gov.bc.ca or call our toll-free line at 1-833-882-0020. If you need help uploading documents, call us.
Thank you for your patience. We’re working as quickly as possible to process your information.
You must notify us within 90 days or by September 30, 2021, whichever is later, of any changes to your eligibility. Examples of things to report include, but are not limited to:
- A reassessment of your or your spouse or common-law partner's 2019 net income by the Canada Revenue Agency that resulted in an increase to your family net income and therefore results in a reduction to the benefit amount
- An error made in your application claiming the wrong individual as your cohabitating spouse or common-law partner or child
You can notify us by phone, mail or by submitting a letter securely online. To speed up our review, include your confirmation number or case ID and the income tax Notice of Reassessment.
You can also notify us by emailing BCRBPsupport@gov.bc.ca. However, do not send sensitive information by email.
If you received income assistance, disability assistance, seniors’ supplement, hardship allowance or comfort allowance for the month of January or February 2021, you don’t need to notify us about changes to your eligibility.
Get your payment
After your application is approved, payment will generally be deposited to your bank account within 5 business days. You’ll receive your Notice of Determination in the mail when your payment is processed.
If you received income assistance, disability assistance, seniors’ supplement, hardship allowance or comfort allowance for the month of January or February 2021, you’ll receive your benefit payment the same way you received your social support payment. If you received a reduced benefit amount previously and now qualify for the maximum benefit amount, you’ll receive a second payment for the difference. You’ll receive your Notice of Determination in the mail when your payment is processed.
You may need to repay the benefit if:
- You applied and later realized you aren't eligible
- You didn't apply and received a payment in error
- We later determine that you're not eligible
- A reassessment to your 2019 net income changes the benefit amount you’re entitled to
How to repay
The fastest way to repay is to have your financial institution return the payment. Provide your financial institution with:
- Deposit date
- Deposit amount
- Payor name “Prov of BC”
- Account number that the payment was deposited into
If your financial institution can’t return the payment, you can mail us a cheque made payable to the Minister of Finance to:
BC Recovery Benefit
Ministry of Finance
PO BOX 9439 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9V3
With the cheque, include either:
- Your confirmation number or Case ID from your application
- A note that states you didn’t apply for the benefit if you received it in error
If your cheque is from a different account from the one the payment was deposited into, also include the account information where the payment was deposited so we can mark the payment as returned.
You may be charged interest on:
- The amounts of any B.C. Recovery Benefit that you must repay, and
- Any related penalties
Interest on the benefit amount that must be repaid will be charged from the date the amount was originally paid.
You must notify us if there were changes to your eligibility after the result of your benefit has been determined.
A penalty of $10 per day to a maximum of $250 may be charged if you don't notify us.
A penalty of up to $3,000 for gross negligence may also be charged if you knowingly, or under circumstances amounting to gross negligence, make false statements that result in, or that would have resulted in, any individual receiving a payment that they would not have been eligible for.
Subject to royal assent of the legislation, if you don’t agree with a determination made on your benefit, you may appeal to the Minister after April 20, 2021.
Your notice of appeal must be received by the Minister of Finance within 90 days from the date on the Notice of Determination or on or before September 30, 2021, whichever is later.
Call centre agents are available to:
- Help you apply over the phone
- Provide information about your application status
- Answer questions about any additional documents you’ve been asked to provide
- Answer general questions about the benefit
1-833-882-0020 (within North America)
Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5 pm, excluding statutory holidays.
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