Youth and young adults - MCFD response to COVID-19
If you suspect you are ill as a result of COVID-19, please contact your health care provider or call 811 or 711 for those who are deaf/hard of hearing.
Last updated: October 21, 2020
If you become ill with COVID-19, please report it to your social worker and call Provincial Centralized Screening at 1-800-663-9122
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is working to ensure that youth and young adults do not encounter additional barriers to prevent them from receiving the services and supports they need.
On this page:
- MCFD supports
- Loss of employment
- Taxes, credits and benefits
- Payment due dates
- Staying connected
- Student resources
- More info
- Latest news: supports extended for youth aging out of care
- Youth in foster care, out-of-care placements and contracted residential agencies will be able to stay where they are past their 19th birthday, available until March 31, 2021
- Youth on Independent Living Agreements and Youth Agreements will receive monthly living expenses past their 19th birthday, until March 31, 2021
- A temporary Life Skills option is available for youth to access Agreements with Youth Adults (AYA) program until September 30, 2021
- This includes expansion of program eligibility to a wider range of existing programs online and in communities as well as decreasing the number of required hours of participation per week. Cultural programs are also now included under the AYA life-skills program policy
- As of October 1, 2020, more flexibility to access mental health supports including cultural healing and wellness are available for young adults under the AYA rehabilitative program area. This will be available until September 30, 2021
- For information on AYA, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/youth-and-family-services/teens-in-foster-care/agreements-with-young-adults
- Employment Insurance (EI): The following changes are in effect until September 27, 2021:
- Only 120 insured hours needed to qualify for EI benefits.
- A minimum of $500 per week before taxes will be issues but you could receive more.
- If you received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended.
- BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund provides grants up to $600 if you've experienced job loss, illness or lost wages due to COVID-19
- For those not eligible for EI, the following federal benefits may be available:
- Notice to End Tenancy may be issued by a landlord for unpaid rent or utilities if:
- The tenant failed to pay rent that was due before March 18, 2020; or
- The tenant fails to pay full rent due after August 17, 2020 (for most renters that would be September 1, 2020)
- Rent increases are now allowed with notice. The rent increase will not come into effect until December 1, 2020.
- Landlords are prohibited from accessing rental units without the consent of the tenant except in exceptional cases where it is needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the unit.
- Landlords are allowed to restrict the use of common areas by tenants and guests.
- You have rights as a tenant https://agedout.com/housing/know-your-rights-tenant
Ensure you have filed your taxes for the 2019 tax year as filing your taxes allows you to get tax refunds, qualify for GST refunds and helps build your credit. Also, it is never too early too begin thinking about filing for the 2020 tax year to ensure you receive the full benefit amounts you are entitled to. To learn more you can visit https://agedout.com/money-income
- ICBC customers on a monthly Autoplan payment plan, who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19, can defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.
- BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund allows customers to apply for a grant payment to avoid disconnection. The program is available to residential customers and only for a primary residence:
- The total amount owing needs to be less than $1,000.
- Grants are available up to $600 ($500 if the home isn't heated by electricity) and will be applied directly on the BC Hydro bill against the amount owing.
- The grant can be applied for once per year and the grant doesn't need to be repaid. Further information is available at Customer Crisis Fund and how to apply.
- FortisBC is waiving late fees and will not disconnect service due to financial hardship at this time.
- TELUS Mobility for Good offers a free smartphone, data, and unlimited Canada wide text & talk plan for ages 19-26 who were in the care of MCFD or a DAA, on a Youth Agreement as of their 19th birthday, or are eligible for the Agreements for Young Adults Program
- Existing TELUS Mobility for Good customers who applied prior to December 1, 2019 are able to contact email@example.com to be transferred to a new plan that includes the Peace of Mind functionality which will eliminate data overage changes by reducing the speed of data after 3GB. If you applied after December 1, 2019 this function is included in your plan
- As of May 6, 2020 Mobility for Good Customers who are accepted to the program will also be eligible for TELUS Internet for Good (I4G) program which offers 300 GB’s of internet for $9.95 (plus applicable taxes) per month for 24 months. Further information will be provided by TELUS on the M4G acceptance letter. This is not a retroactive offer and individuals accepted to the M4G program prior to May 6, 2020 will not be eligible for I4G
- As of August 17, 2020 Mobility for Good has been expanded nationally and is now available to young adults across Canada.
- Youth & young adults needing free internet can access Shaw Go WiFi which is now FREE during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service is available to everyone, not just Shaw customers.
- B.C. Student Loan Payments & Canadian Student Loan Payments and Interest are no longer frozen and resumed in October 2020 and Federal interest also began to accrue October 1, 2020. Also, as of February 19, 2019, the interest rate on existing and future BC student loans was eliminated. However, you are still responsible for paying any interest on BC student loans accumulated PRIOR to February 19, 2019.
- Canada Student Grants and Loans is providing more supports for students
- BC Government’s COVID-19 Supports Website
- Talk to a Service BC agent about non-health related information and services such as child care, travel restrictions, business and funding support through text at 1-604-630-0300, by phone 1-888-COVID19, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org (please don’t provide personal information when emailing).
- Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and connect with a COVID-19 virtual assistant
- October 5, COVID-19 letter to Youth - Independent Living or Youth Agreements Program
- October 5, COVID-19 letter to Youth - Agreements with Young Adults (AYA)
- June 22, COVID-19 letter to Youth – Independent Living or Youth Agreements Program
- June 22, COVID -19 letter to Youth – Agreements with Young Adults (AYA)
- March 25, COVID-19 letter to Youth - Independent Living or Youth Agreements Program
- March 25, COVID-19 letter to Youth - Agreements with Young Adults (AYA)
- March 13, COVID-19 letter to Youth Support Organizations