COVID-19 support for youth and young adult

Get the services and support you need as a youth or young adult during COVID-19.

Last updated: February 9, 2021

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If you get sick

If you think you are sick with COVID-19:

If you test positive for COVID-19 as an MCFD-involved youth or young adult you must report it to your social worker and call Provincial Centralized Screening at 1-800-663-9122.

The best source for COVID-19 health information is the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).


MCFD program changes

For youth in foster care, out-of-care placements and contracted residential agencies, you can keep staying where you're living past your 19th birthday until March 31, 2022.

For youth on Independent Living Agreements and Youth Agreements, you will receive monthly living expenses past your 19th birthday until March 31, 2022.

The Agreements with Youth Adults (AYA) program is offering a Temporary Life Skills option:

  • Runs until September 30, 2021
  • Expanded program eligibility, decreased required hours of participation
  • Includes cultural programs, cultural healing, wellness

Get support

Apply for the BC Recovery Benefit

Apply 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
  • Benefit eligibility is based on net income from your 2019 tax return
  • You must apply to receive the benefit

Loss of employment

Employment Insurance (EI) changes are in effect until September 27, 2021.

  • If you received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  • A minimum of $500 per week before taxes will be issued but you could receive more
  • Only 120 insured hours needed to qualify for EI benefits

For those not eligible for EI, the following federal benefits may be available:

Renting

  • A 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 allowed with notice again
  • 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
  • Read about your rights as a tenant

Paying your bills

If you're an ICBC customer, you can defer your payment for up to 90 days with no penalty when you're on a monthly Autoplan payment plan and facing financial challenges due to COVID-19.

If you're a BC Hydro customer, you can apply to the BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund for a grant payment to avoid disconnection. The fund 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)
  • The grant can be applied for once per year and the grant doesn't need to be repaid

If you're a FortisBC customer, they are waiving late fees and will not disconnect service due to financial hardship at this time.

Cellphones and internet

You might be eligible for the TELUS Mobility for Good program, which provides a free smartphone, data, and an unlimited Canada wide text & talk plan.

  • To be eligible, you must be aged 19 to 26 and have been in the care of MCFD or a DAA, on a Youth Agreement as of your 19th birthday, or are eligible for the Agreements for Young Adults Program

Student loans

Interest on B.C. Student Loan payments and Canadian Student Loan payments is no longer frozen. Interest resumed and began to accrue October 2020. 


Resources

Crisis line BC:

  • Online chat for youth (noon to 1 am)

Helpline for Children & Youth:

Kids Help Phone:

Foundry offices are supporting youth and young adults during COVID-19.