Has your income been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Below are financial supports that are now available.
This list was compiled by MIB administration for members. Any questions about benefits should be directed to the provider via the websites and phone numbers listed, not MIB administration.
Laid off due to work closures?
- Apply for regular EI benefits: EI Benefits website
- You will need 700 work hours in the last year
- You will need a ROE saying you’ve been laid off from your employer to get benefits
- 1-week wait period (not paid for 1 week)
- Apply online
- Call 1-800-206-7218 for more information
Unable to work due to self-quarantine?
- Apply for EI Sickness benefits
- You will need 600 work hours last year
- Do not need a ROE or sick note to qualify
- The 1-week wait period has been waived
- Apply online
- Call 1-833-381-2725 for more information
Self-quarantined, laid off, or have disrupted income & ineligible for EI?
- Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for those not eligible for EI (including self-employed), not receiving payment from their job, who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of kids due to school closures or a family member with COVID-19
- $2,000 a month for up to four months until October 3, 2020
- Apply online: Individual Supports – federal gov’t
- After applying, you should get payment in 3 business days if you signed up for direct deposit, or in about 10 days if you haven’t
Do I qualify for WorkSafe benefits?
- WorkSafe benefits are not available for preventative measures or non-work-related exposure
- Only file a claim for COVID-19 virus infection contracted through work-related exposure
- Call 1-888-967-5377 for more information
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
- One-time, tax-free $1,000 payment in May 2020 for BC residents receiving EI or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- Applications will open soon
- Includes EI- and non-EI eligible, those laid-off, sick or quarantined, parents with sick children or who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed, and those caring for sick family members.
Currently receiving income /disability assistance?
- Federal EI benefits, including CERB, will be temporarily exempted for the next three months without any reductions to monthly assistance payments
- Those ineligible for emergency federal support programs, including CERB, and low-income seniors receiving the B.C. Senior’s Supplement will receive an automatic $300-monthly crisis supplement for the next three months
- One-time enhancement paid in July 2020 for moderate- or low-income families
- Eligible families of four will receive up to $564 and eligible individuals up to $218 in an enhanced payment
- More information here, or call 877-387-3332
General supports in response to COVID-19
Student Loan Repayment
- Federal student loans: six-month interest-free moratorium
- B.C. student loans: six-month freeze, from March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020
- No application!– automatically apply
B.C. Post-secondary Student Supports
- $3.5 million supplement to existing student emergency financial assistance for domestic students attending B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions experiencing emergency financial pressures
- Use the non-repayable emergency assistance to help with a broad range of costs, including living expenses, food, travel, portable computers and other supports for students who are not already able to study remotely
- Contact your school’s financial aid office to access these funds. Emails for each institution are provided here.
Post-Secondary Indigenous Students
- $1.5 million supplement to the Indigenous Emergency Assistance Fund, which assists Indigenous students experiencing an unexpected financial emergency that may affect their ability to finish their studies
- Use the non-repayable emergency assistance to help with emergency living expenses (i.e. groceries, cell phone bills, childcare), other unanticipated expenses (i.e. medical, dental and optical costs), and travel costs for family crisis or community obligations
- Contact your school’s Indigenous Student Service Centre to access these funds. Emails for each institution are provided here.
- Provincewide suspension of BC Transit and Translink bus fares
- All BC Bus Pass Program users receiving income/disability assistance will be provided with the $52 Transportation Supplement for the duration of the fare suspension, included on the next cheque and for each subsequent month of the fare suspension
- Existing Compass passes under the BC Bus Pass Program will not be cancelled and will remain active, so people will not need to reapply for bus passes in the future
- $500 per month rent supplement through BC Housing paid directly to landlords
- Suspension of current and future evictions, with exceptions
- Rent freeze
- Subsidized & affordable BC Housing buildings: temporary eviction moratorium and rent adjustment rules. More information on BC Housing’s website.
Increase in Canada Child Benefit
- For the 2019-20 benefit year, there will be an increase in CCB by $300 per child.
- Overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average
- Families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment.
Extra time to file income Taxes
- Due date to file your Income Tax Return is June 1, 2020
- Individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit should not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty.
- These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.
- COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program will provide customers with the option to defer payments or arrange for a flexible payment plan with no penalty if unable to work.
- Those facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may also be eligible for BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.
- Customers with questions can contact BC Hydro at 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376).
This was originally shared as a PDF: COVID-19 Resources FOR EI AND ASSISTANCE-April6-20
Key announcements so far: