BC Recovery Benefit
We recognize the significant challenges people are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’re here to help British Columbians and we appreciate everyone's patience as we get through this together.
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: February 18, 2021
I haven't applied yet
I've already applied
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 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.
- $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 are residents of B.C. on December 18, 2020
- Who are 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 general 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 plan to file your 2020 tax return as a resident of B.C. and you were a resident in B.C. on or before 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, you’re a resident in B.C. for the benefit if most of your significant residential ties are in B.C.
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, 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 can apply for the individual benefit.
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:
- You have filed your 2019 Canadian personal income tax return and reported you were married to or in a common-law relationship with the same person, and
- You 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 in December 2020 or January 2021, you automatically receive the full benefit amount.
- You don’t need to do anything. You’ll receive the benefit payment the same way you received your social support program payment
If you started receiving social support payments in February 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.
People under 19
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.
If your 2019 income was reassessed by the Canada Revenue Agency after you applied and it changes the benefit amount you may qualify for, contact us for help.
Get your payment
After your application is approved, payment will generally be deposited to your bank account within 5 business days. We’ll notify you by email when your payment is processed. You’ll also receive a letter in the mail.
If you received a social support payment in December 2020 or January 2021, you’ll receive your benefit payment the same way you received your social support payment. If you received a reduced benefit amount and now qualify for the maximum benefit amount, you’ll receive a second payment for the difference. You’ll receive a letter 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.
Note: Our agents can’t provide details about applications in progress. We’re working as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience.
Call centre agents are available to:
- Help you apply over the phone
- 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.
Subscribe for updates
Get notified when information is updated or changed. Subscribe for updates.