The COVID-19 crisis has hit workers hard, to say the least. Thankfully, the provincial government has just announced that they will be coming through with some financial support in B.C. Anyone who's been unable to work because of the pandemic will qualify for a one-time payment of $1,000. Whether you're collecting EI or not, you can collect this payment.
On Monday, March 23, B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announced a $5 billion relief package for the province.
As part of this relief plan, workers affected by the pandemic will receive $1,000 each, tax-free.
This doesn't mean you have to be unemployed to collect the funds, only that you're unable to work. It could include people who aren't able to work because they're caring for someone, people who are self-employed, and anyone recently laid off.
James said that this money will be supplemented by future payments from the federal emergency support fund.
In the same conference, Horgan promised British Columbians would be safe from eviction if they're unable to make rent.
"No one will lose their apartments due to COVID-19," he said, promising aid for renters.
Watch live: I'll be joined by @carolejames as we announce our first steps to deliver urgent support for people and… https://t.co/EkYQtBEmQH— John Horgan (@John Horgan)1584990060.0
The new B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will be given to those who have been unable to work due to the outbreak.
It includes people who aren't able to work because they're sick, quarantined, or who have to care for others at home.
Also, people who wouldn't ordinarily qualify for EI will be able to get this benefit, like those who are self-employed.
In addition to a $1,000 one-time payment, British Columbians can apply to defer programs for bills for ICBC and BC Hydro.
Plus, StudentAidBC loan payments and interest are paused until September 2020.
British Columbians can expect a boost to their Climate Action Tax Credit coming in July 2020. Individuals will receive "$218 in an enhanced payment," according to a statement from the government.
B.C.'s new COVID-19 Action Plan comes after similar funding was announced in provinces like Alberta, which offered a temporary payment of $573 per week.
You can check out the province's plan on their website, and find out more about what options are available to you.