Minister of Finance Carole James speaks to the media joined by Premier John Horgan as they talk about the next steps of the COVID-19 action plan recently put in place by the provincial government during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, March 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

$1,000 payment for COVID-19 affected workers won’t come till May: B.C. finance ministry

Payment will go to those who qualify for EI or other COVID-19 related unemployment help

The $1,000 payment for workers affected by COVID-19 won’t come til early May, the B.C. finance ministry confirmed Tuesday.

The money, announced by Finance Minister Carole James Monday, is meant to be a “tax-free emergency payment” for workers struggling to make ends meet as layoffs and shutdowns continue due to the novel coronavirus. The virus has infected at least 472 people in B.C. and killed 13, health officials said Monday morning.

A finance ministry spokesperson said those who get EI, the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or the Emergency Support Benefit – both unveiled by Ottawa last week – will qualify to get the $1,000 payment.

“The $1,000 is not income-tested, so that, in fact, will go to middle-income earners,” James said in a brief debate on the $5 billion pandemic aid package she tabled in the B.C. legislature March 23. “People who are on employment insurance — who are accessing employment insurance, so who have lost their work — will have the ability to access that $1,000 as well. That’s part of the program.”

People who qualify for the money include workers who are sick, quarantined or have been laid off due to COVID-19, parents with sick family members, children or kids who must stay home because schools and daycares are closed, and who are self-employed and losing work or closing up shop due to the virus.

The finance ministry said an online application process is being worked on and information will be “coming soon,” but did not specify when.

The $1,000 is part of a $5 billion economic plan laid out by the B.C. government Monday, of which $2.8 billion will go to people, and $2.2 billion will go to small businesses.

Premier John Horgan said there was help for renters in the $5 billion plan, but the details of that won’t be rolled out till Wednesday.

READ MORE: A student loan freeze, $1,000 payments: Here’s what B.C.’s COVID-19 plan has for you

READ MORE: B.C. moves to prevent people being fired due to COVID-19 consequences

READ MORE: B.C. announces $5 billion financial relief for COVID-19 pandemic

READ MORE: B.C. legislature meets briefly with minimum MLAs to deal with COVID-19

READ MORE: More ‘stringent measures’ will come if Canadians ignore COVID-19 guidelines, Trudeau says


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC governmentCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cranbrook photographer taking part in Front Porch Project

Kristin Jubinville has raised over $500 for the Cranbrook Food Bank with her project.

Council approves two-month extension for utility bill payments

Cranbrook businesses and residents have an extra two months to make payments… Continue reading

Search and Rescue see 50 per cent call reduction, hope for further decrease

The BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) extended their gratitude to the… Continue reading

Inmate death reported at prison near Abbotsford

Police, coroner notified of inmate death at Pacific Institution

It happened this week in 1913

April 5 - 11: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

BC Housing enlists Nelson hotels for COVID-19 isolation spaces

The service is for people either at-risk of or currently homeless

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Most Read