If you’re a British Columbia resident and you need a little extra support right now, you could be eligible for the brand new B.C. Recovery Benefit.

On Tuesday, December 8, the provincial government announced that applications for the benefit would open on December 18, 2020.

It’s a one-time payment of up to $1,000, that aims to support eligible families, single parents and individuals across the province.

In a statement about the funding, Premier John Horgan said, “We have worked hard to get the B.C. Recovery Benefit to people as soon as possible.”

“We are united with the millions of people and families who are wrapping up a difficult year and look forward to a new year with hope and the promise of a continued recovery,” he added.

If you think you could be eligible, here’s what you need to know:

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What is the BC Recovery Benefit?

The B.C. Recovery Benefit was launched on December 8 by the provincial government.

It’s a one-time direct deposit payment that aims to financially support families, single parents or individuals through the ongoing pandemic.

Qualifying families, including single parents, can get up to $1,000, while individuals can get up to $500.

It’s not an automatic benefit, which means you do have to apply to get it.

Applications open on December 18, 2020, and you can use the B.C. government’s website to apply.

Additional support will also become available via phone, starting on December 21.

How much can you get?

According to the benefit’s eligibility criteria, what you are entitled to depends on the net income from your 2019 tax return. 

The amount you (and your family) qualifies for will be automatically calculated based on your income when you apply.

For this particular funding, “family” refers to an individual and their spouse or common-law partner.

Families and single parents with a net income of up to $125,000 can get $1,000, while those with a net income of up to $175,000 will qualify for a reduced benefit amount.

Individuals can also apply for the financial support.

Eligible people with a net income of up to $62,500 can get $500, while those with a net income of up to $87,500 will receive less.

Who is eligible?

According to Premier John Horgan, this tax-free benefit will help “up to 3.7 million people, or approximately 90% of adults in B.C.”

Per the general eligibility criteria, an applicant needs to be residing in British Columbia, at least 19 years old and must have filed a personal income tax return last year.

They’ll also need a valid social insurance number, individual tax number or a temporary tax number.

This also applies to the spouse or common-law partner, if applying for the “family” benefit.

There’s also a more specific criteria list, for unusual circumstances and for those who don't meet the standard requirements.

This includes people who are homeless, single parents that are under 19 years old, people who are bankrupt, people who have been in prison, people who are on income or disability assistance and others.

Full details can be found here.

It’s worth noting that, like the CERB and CESB, anybody who claims the benefit incorrectly will be asked to pay it back.

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