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B.C. extends emergency supports for vulnerable people

The B.C. Government has extended federal employment insurance exemptions and the provincial temporary crisis supplement.

The Province said the extension will help ensure people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors continue to have access to supports they need amid the pandemic.

“B.C.’s response to COVID-19 has been strong and swift, but we are not out of the woods yet,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The extension of these programs will allow some breathing room for people to get back on their feet as we move through our restart plan.”

A three-month exemption of all federal employment insurance benefits, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, was introduced by the B.C. government on April 2nd for people already receiving income or disability assistance at that time. According to the province, the benefit was meant to ensure current clients whose employment may have been impacted by COVID-19 could fully benefit from federal emergency response programs.

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“This exemption, which now includes the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (effective May 1, 2020), has been extended for the duration of these federal emergency support programs so that eligible people will continue to fully benefit without any reductions to their monthly income or disability assistance payments,” said the Provincial Government.

The provincial temporary COVID-19 Crisis Supplement has also been extended by two months for those who are not eligible for the federal benefits.  Low-income seniors receiving the B.C. Senior’s Supplement and income assistance and disability recipients living in special care facilities will continue to receive the Crisis Supplement as well.

No action will be required by those on the COVID-19 Crisis Supplement, which will see $300 distributed on cheques sent out on July 22nd and August 26th.

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