The Provincial Government is implementing a few new supports and supplements targeted at low-income seniors as well as those on income and disability assistance.

Firstly, for those currently receiving financial assistance, the Province will temporarily exempt federal employment insurance benefits, including the new $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Federal benefits will be fully exempted for the next three months, meaning that people receiving assistance will be able to benefit from the emergency support programs without facing reductions to their existing monthly payments.

Furthermore, everyone currently receiving assistance who is not eligible for federal support programs will receive an automatic $300-monthly COVID-19 Crisis supplement for the next three months.

The $300 supplement will also be provided to low-income seniors who receive the B.C. Senior’s Supplement and recipients of income assistance or disability assistance who reside in special care facilities.

Additionally, following the suspension of BC Transit and Translink bus fares, any current BC Bus Pass Program users receiving income assistance will be given an additional $52 Transportation Supplement for the duration of fare suspension, which will be included on the next cheque.

Finally, the BC Government provided a $3-million emergency grant to Food Banks BC to distribute among food banks provincially. This grant is meant to help purchase and distribute food, pay employees, and cover other costs essential to food delivery programs.

The full announcement can be read on the Provincial Government’s website.