Chilliwack financial advisor Terry Brown (left), Barb Van Santen and just some of her many foster kids. Brown helped Van Santen get the $1,200 BC Training and Education Savings Grant for eight children last year and he’s campaigning for all parents to sign up. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress file)

B.C. parents missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in free money

Chilliwack financial advisor still banging the drum over unclaimed $1,200 RESP grant cash

Terry Brown’s been screaming from the rooftops for months about free money that continues to be left on the table by parents in B.C.

And yet still thousands and thousands aren’t listening.

“It’s a real head scratcher,” the Chilliwack financial advisor said this week.

Brown’s message is about the B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG), a free $1,200 grant. All parents have to do is open an RESP at a financial institution, something that doesn’t cost anything, and then apply for the BCTESG through the bank or credit union.

There is no requirement to match the government grant or continue to contribute.

“The ‘trick that isn’t a trick’, as I like to call it, is to open an empty RESP account just to collect your child’s provincial and federal grants,” Brown says.

“Many RESP providers allow this, but it seems that half of B.C. parents still don’t know this.”

Despite Brown’s tireless efforts to promote the grant on social media and in person to anyone who will listen, take-up is still not great.

About 47,000 kids are born every year in B.C., yet just 41 per cent of eligible children born between the ages of 2006 and 2012 have taken the government up on the free money offer. Of those born between 2007 and 2009, a little over 51 per cent received grant and for the rest of them, time’s up.

Of those born in 2010, 43.7 per cent; 2011, 34.8 per cent; and in the most recent year of eligibility, 2012, just 6,810 out of 46,028 kids have the free money so far, or 14.8 per cent.

As for the first year of eligibility, 2006, 16,627 out of 46,681 or 35.6 per cent have applied. That means the parents of 30,054 children have not applied and time is running out as the deadline to apply is Aug. 14, 2019 after which, the money is left on the table.

“I’m running out of new ways to say the same thing: empty RESP accounts are free, and free money is available,” Brown said last June in an article in The Progress on the same subject.

• READ MORE: Free $1,200 grants going unclaimed by thousands in B.C.

Children who were between the ages of six and nine when the program was introduced in 2015 were given three years to apply. The program was later extended to include children who were born in 2006. And the deadline for the kids born in 2007, 2008 and 2009 was last summer meaning nearly half of those kids didn’t get it.

The deadline to apply now is by the beneficiary’s ninth birthday.

“It’s free money for kids. It takes 15 minutes out of your day to bring in $1,200.”

For information on the grant, any parent just needs to contact their financial institution, or check out Brown’s Facebook page dedicated to the subject www.facebook.com/TerryBrowninBC.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

NDP wants Chilliwack-Kent MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

New youth housing in Chilliwack comes with wrap-around supports

The 16-unit building on Mellard Avenue will be for youth experiencing homelessness or at risk of it

PHOTO: Chilliwack photographer captures incredible image of Comet Neowise

Comet that’s visible to the naked eye will be easiest to see on July 23

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP re-open community policing offices

CPOs have been closed for weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but re-opened Tuesday

PHOTOS: Sunbathers soak up the warm weather at Cultus Lake Park

Temperatures reached a high of 25 degrees celsius on Tuesday, marking the hottest day of July so far

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

‘Perfect storm’ led to bad year for mosquitos near Fraser River

High river levels and lots of rain meant many eggs hatched this year

South Surrey mom frustrated by city’s response after son, 10, has severe reaction to park grass 

City of Surrey parks manager says ‘potential steps’ to address concern under review

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Most Read