Community Update: BC Recovery Benefit and BC Recovery Supplement

DABC followed up with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction last week on a few questions related to the BC Recovery Benefit, a provincial benefit that will provide a one-time payment of $500 to eligible individuals and $1000 to eligible families. We have clarified the following:

  • Everyone, regardless of whether you are or not on provincial income or disability assistance, will need to apply separately to receive the BC Recovery Benefit. The application process will open online on December 18th, with telephone support available starting December 21st. Here is the website with all the detailed information on it:
  • Ministry clients who receive the BC Recovery Benefit will be able to keep it in addition to any income and disability amounts for which they are eligible.
  • In addition to the above BC Recovery Benefit, there is a $150 per adult per month BC Recovery Supplement for people receiving income assistance, hardship assistance, provincial disability assistance, or comforts payments. Also, some eligible Senior’s Supplement recipients will receive the BC Recovery Supplement.
  • People who are receiving federal benefits, including the Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB, CRSB, CRCB) or Employment Insurance (EI) will not receive this supplement.
  • The BC Recovery Supplement will be automatically added to cheques issued January through March 2021 (February through April benefit months). There is no need to apply for it.
  • It does indeed look like the $300 monthly COVID-19 Crisis Supplement is being replaced with the above BC Recovery Supplement. The last payment date of the $300 COVID-19 Crisis Supplement is December 16, 2020 (for January benefit month) and December 22, 2020 for seniors receiving the senior’s supplement.

While DABC acknowledges and appreciates the BC Government’s response to aiding our communities into economic recovery from COVID-19, we are saddened to see that this new BC Recovery Supplement in particular will ultimately result in a drop of COVID-19-related financial assistance (from $300 a month to $150 a month) for people on provincial income and disability assistance. DABC has been lobbying the BC Government to make permanent the $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement for income assistance and disability assistance recipients, further indexed for inflation, because we know that current income and disability assistance rates are below the poverty line and therefore inadequate to meet basic needs. DABC will continue to advocate on this issue despite the drop in COVID-19 financial assistance, as we understand this affects people on income and disability assistance beyond our current COVID-19 situation.