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

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

The annual Rotary Christmas Parade won’t be going ahead this year as it did last year, rolling through downtown Chilliwack on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Rotary Christmas Celebration for children will replace downtown Chilliwack parade this year

Parade committee felt it ‘inappropriate’ to host Christmas parade with thousands in the stands

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Most Read