COVID-19 support for income and disability assistance

New emergency measures are in place to ensure that people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors do not encounter additional barriers.

Last updated: December 17, 2020

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Accessing service

In-person service support may be impacted by COVID-19. Check your local office for hours of operation before visiting.

Call 1-866-866-0800 or use My Self Serve to avoid going into an office or if you have:

  • COVID-19 symptoms like cough, shortness of breath or fever
  • Been around someone sick, like a family member
  • Not completed 14-day isolation after travel abroad

If you have documents to submit, you can


Income and disability assistance

If you are not receiving federal Employment Insurance (EI), the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)or any of the three new Canada recovery benefits and are on: 

  • Income assistance
  • Disability assistance
  • Hardship assistance
  • Comforts allowance
  • BC Senior's Supplement

You will automatically receive the automatic $150 temporary BC Recovery Supplement on cheques issued in in January, February and March 2021. No action is required on your part.

If you are receiving federal EI or any of the three new Canada recovery benefits and receive:

  • Income assistance
  • Disability assistance
  • Hardship assistance

You are not eligible for the temporary BC Recovery Supplement ($150). 

EI and the three new Canada recovery benefits, and pandemic pay are exempt as income and assets for individuals who were eligible for assistance (except repayable hardship assistance due to having applied for EI or CERB) or were designated as a Person with Disabilities (PWD) on April 2, 2020.

BC Recovery Benefit

The BC Recovery 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.

Benefit rates

The amount you’re eligible for will be automatically calculated based on your income when you apply.

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

Individuals

  • $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

For people who have not filed their income taxes for 2019 or those who do not have banking services, a modified application process will be available in the new year.  

For support in filing your income tax, call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281 or get support online at Canada Revenue Agency.

Apply for the benefit

Federal supports

Transition from Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to Employment Insurance (EI)

The Government of Canada has ended the CERB and, as of September 27, 2020, made some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI benefits.

The federal government has also introduced three new benefits:

Learn more about the new benefits

One-time payment for persons with disabilities

A one-time payment of $600 will be automatically issued to eligible persons with disabilities. You do not have to apply to receive this payment.

Review eligibility


Receiving payments

Direct Deposit is a safe and dependable way to receive payments. Money is deposited directly to your Bank or Credit Union account. You have immediate access to your money.

Sign up for direct deposit 


Office health and safety

Changes to in-person services are in place due to COVID-19. To protect the health of our citizens and employees, we are:

  • Supporting physical distancing in our offices through signage, temporary shields and visual cues
  • Enhancing the cleaning services in our waiting areas
  • Posting information about proper hygiene practices and health precautions