(Minister of Finance, Carole James)

Applications for the one-time tax free $1,000 payment through B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers are now open as of Friday morning.

According to Minister of Finance, Carole James, the province has already received 16,389 applications for this benefit within the first 45 minutes of launching the website.

Most people eligible for the $2,000/month Canada Emergency Response Benefit will also be eligible for this B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, including those who have run out of employment insurance (EI) benefits and subsequently qualify for the CERB.

See alsoB.C. announces $5 billion relief package for people and businesses affected by COVID-19

Eligibility requirements for the $1,000 payment include:

  • B.C. residency as of March 15th, 2020,
  • Meeting eligibility requirements for CERB,
  • Approval for the CERB, even if they have not received a benefit yet,
  • Age 15 or above,
  • Filed, or agreed to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return,
  • Not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance.

Applications can be made online at www.gov.bc.ca/workerbenefit, which is the fastest way to apply. Applicants will require their social insurance number and direct deposit information.

Starting May 4th, British Columbians can also apply for this benefit over the phone by calling 778 309-4630 or toll-free within B.C. at 1 855 955-3545 on May 4th.

The phone lines for this benefit will be open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and can also be dialled for general support and inquiries starting May 1st.

This benefit is part of the $5 billion COVID-19 Action Plan to support individuals and businesses that was announced on March 23rd.

The province has allocated $1 billion out of this amount to the Emergency Benefit for Workers as well as the climate tax credit directly paid to residents.

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 3,355,797.

Over 236,900 people have died from the illness and 1,067,556 have made a full recovery.

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