Update on the BC Recovery Benefit and people receiving Ministry assistance

DABC has been informed that clients currently receiving Ministry assistance (PWD, Income Assistance, Hardship Assistance), will automatically receive the BC Recovery Benefit – there is now no need to apply for the BC Recovery Benefit separately.

The following information comes directly from the Ministry:

“As of February 2021, the BC Recovery Benefit will be automatically paid to people on income, disability or hardship assistance and people receiving the senior’s supplement who were receiving assistance by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (SDPR) in December 2020 or January 2021.

• SDPR clients will receive the full BC Recovery Benefit amounts of $500 for single people an $1,000 for single-parent families and two-parent families.

• SDPR clients will be provided the BC Recovery Benefit in the same form that they receive their benefits from SDPR, such as:

• Via direct deposit from the Ministry of Finance, or

• By cheque mailed to your home address, or

• Through pick up at your local office if you do not have an address on file.

What do clients need to do?

• If clients have already applied for the BC Recovery Benefit and received the full $500 for a single person or $1,000 for single parents and families, there is no further action required.

• If clients have already applied for the BC Recovery Benefit and received a reduced eligibility amount, they will automatically receive a top up to the full amount via the payment method originally provided. Top up amounts of under $10.00 will not be issued.

• If clients have applied for the BC Recovery Benefit and are in the verification stage, they do not need to complete the verification process, as the BCRB payment will automatically be sent to them.

• If clients have not applied for the BC Recovery Benefit, there is no further action required, as the BCRB payment will automatically be sent to them.

Payments are expected to arrive by end of March 2021.

• Clients need to report the BCRB on their monthly stub as “Other Income”. The BC Recovery Benefit payment is exempt and will not affect their monthly payment amount.

• If a client was not in receipt of income assistance, hardship assistance, disability assistance or comforts allowance in December 2020 (for January benefit month) or January 2021 (for February benefit month) or the senior’s supplement in December 2020 or January 2021, they are not eligible for the automatic payment.

• If an individual is not eligible for the automatic payment, they can access the BC Recovery Benefit, through Ministry of Finance using their online application https://gov.bc.ca/recoverybenefit or call toll-free line at 1-833-882-0020.”

An important note regarding DABC's services

Since March 2020, DABC’s office has been closed to the public due to COVID-19. However, our staff continue to work remotely. Since the pandemic began, our organization has become increasingly overwhelmed by demand for our services, beyond what our staff capacity can provide within a reasonable time frame. For some of our programs, the waitlist to speak to an Advocate is several weeks long. As many of our programs and services target people with disabilities who are most in need, we are acutely aware that a long wait time affects them greatly, particularly as they await financial assistance.

We believe the reason for this increased demand is that prior to the pandemic, much of our client base was local – in Metro Vancouver. We are now able to assist clients remotely, and we have been receiving many more requests for assistance from across the province. Before the pandemic, many of our programs and services served clients exclusively in person in our office in Vancouver. For many of DABC’s programs and services, we are well known across the province for our knowledge and expertise; we are flattered that individuals requesting our assistance would prefer our Advocates to assist them, but the result has been longer wait times.

We are looking into more sustainable ways to increase our capacity, though as a non-profit organization reliant upon grants and donations, it is at times difficult to source more funding to increase our capacity. We apologize that our capacity does not currently allow us to meet this higher level of demand, but we are always willing to work with individuals to refer them to other non-profit organizations in their area that may be able to assist them in a shorter time frame. We ask that you please bear with us as we address this issue.

Our Tax AID team is ready for tax season!

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It’s tax season! Although our physical office remains closed due to COVID-19, DABC’s Tax AID team can help you file your taxes by videoconference, email or phone.

For more information and to book an appointment:
https://disabilityalliancebc.org/direct-service/file-income-taxes/tax-appointment/