Posts Tagged "benefit"

16Jun

B.C. advocate says proposed federal COVID-19 benefit for Canadians with disabilities leaves many with nothing | CBC News

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The federal government is considering a one-time emergency benefit for people with disabilities to help them cope with the added costs imposed by the pandemic, but a B.C.-based disability advocate says even if the legislation does pass, it won’t go far enough.

Heather Walkus, first vice chair of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, says the legislation only applies to people who currently receive a disability tax credit, which she says is only about 40 per cent of Canadians living with disability.

According to Walkus, the majority of people receiving government money due to a disability receive the Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) benefit and those individuals will not receive the $600 payment recently debated in the House of Commons.

“You are leaving about 60 per cent of people with disabilities in Canada without those supports,” said WalkusTuesday on The Early Edition.

Legislation in limbo

The Liberal government announced their proposed new benefit on June 5. However, the plan remains in limbo after the bill, C-17, failed to secure unanimous consent in the House of Commons on June 10.

The Commons adjourned without any sort of resolution, with the parties at an impasse over how to proceed. 

All of the opposition parties — not just the Conservatives — had problems with the bill as written.

NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, raised the same concerns as Walkus and asked for the disability payments to be sent to more people.

“We are already struggling with inclusion, accessibility and poverty and those are issues that have been opened up greatly in the COVID response,” said Walkus, adding the disability community suffered disproportionately to the rest of the population due to the pandemic.

She said specific examples include: lack of accessible accommodation for people with disabilities who need to self-isolate, reduced home support staff, lack of personal protective equipment, challenges accessing information for the blind community, and challenges accessing appointments and stores because of reduced public transportation service.

“Most systems in the emergency response plan did not contemplate people with disabilities,” said Walkus, adding the government should have included disability advocates in conversations about emergency provisions at the onset of the health crisis.

There are approximately six million people living with a disability in Canada.

Tap here to hear the complete interview with Heather Walkus on The Early Edition.

1May

Province receives over 16,000 applications for Emergency Benefit for Workers in 1st hour | CBC News

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B.C. is now accepting applications for its Emergency Benefit for Workers, which provides a one-time, tax free payment of $1,000 to those whose work has been affected by COVID-19.

Minister of Finance Carole James announced the opening Friday morning in Victoria.

“For people who’ve been let go of their jobs or trying to get by on reduced hours, we know the pandemic has been weighing heavy on you and your families,” said James.

“This will provide significant help for people whose jobs and incomes have been impacted by COVID-19.”

She says B.C. received more than 16,000 applications in the first hour after opening online.

The benefit was announced March 23 as part of the province’s $5-billion economic action plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the benefit isn’t universally available. 

“It’s at least tens of thousands — probably hundreds of thousand who aren’t getting it who could potentially use it,” said Rob Gillezeau, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Victoria.

Students and people who are on disability or income assistance aren’t eligible, he pointed out. Nor are those who were unemployed before the COVID-19 crisis began.

“The group I’m most worried about, low income seniors, they are not really getting any targeted benefit from anyone,” Gillezeau said.

He applauded the province for rolling out the benefit quickly, but said if the crisis drags on, he hopes B.C. will consider providing more assistance to those who have fallen through the cracks.

How to apply

The province says the easiest way to apply is through its online portal. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • have been a resident of B.C. on March 15, 2020;

  • meet the eligibility requirements for the CERB;

  • have been approved for the CERB;

  • be at least 15 years old on the date of application’

  • have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return;

  • not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca.  

1May

Applications to open for B.C.’s $1,000 emergency benefit

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VANCOUVER —
Applications for B.C.’s emergency benefit during the novel coronavirus pandemic are set to open Friday.

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers is a one-time $1,000 payment available to residents whose work has been impacted during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The online application is set to open on May 1, but as of 6:30 a.m., it wasn’t available yet. Later in the morning, Finance Minister Carole James is expected to speak on the opening of the application. 

CTVNewsVancouver.ca will stream the news conference LIVE @ 9:30 a.m.

Announced last month, the benefit is available to those who have also been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Applicants must also be at least 15 years of age and have been a resident on March 15. They also must have filed or agree to file a 2019 B.C. income tax return. Individuals receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance aren’t eligible. 

“During these uncertain times, we want to get through this together by helping displaced workers support themselves and their families,” said James in a statement about the benefit. 

While a link is expected to be added to the province’s website on Friday, those who would rather apply over the phone can do so on Monday. 

Watch an American Sign Language translation of the news conference on the provincial government’s YouTube page.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Kendra Mangione

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.  

1May

Applications now open for B.C.’s $1,000 emergency benefit

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VANCOUVER —
Applications for B.C.’s emergency benefit during the novel coronavirus pandemic are now open.

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers is a one-time $1,000 payment available to residents whose work has been impacted during the COVID-19 crisis. 

At about 8:30 a.m., the online applications opened to the public. Later in the morning, Finance Minister Carole James is expected to speak about the benefit.

CTVNewsVancouver.ca will stream the news conference LIVE @ 9:30 a.m.

Announced last month, the benefit is available to those who have also been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Applicants must also be at least 15 years of age and have been a resident on March 15. They also must have filed or agree to file a 2019 B.C. income tax return. Individuals receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance aren’t eligible. 

“During these uncertain times, we want to get through this together by helping displaced workers support themselves and their families,” said James in a statement about the benefit. 

While a link was added to the province’s website on Friday, those who would rather apply over the phone can do so on Monday. 

Watch an American Sign Language translation of the news conference on the provincial government’s YouTube page.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Kendra Mangione

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.  

1May

16,389 people signed up for the B.C. workers’ benefit in the first 45 minutes. Here’s how you can apply.

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VANCOUVER —
Applications for B.C.’s emergency benefit during the novel coronavirus pandemic are now open.

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers is a one-time $1,000 payment available to residents whose work has been impacted during the COVID-19 crisis. 

At about 8:30 a.m., the online applications opened to the public. During a live briefing Friday morning, Finance Minister Carole James said 16,389 people had applied for the benefit in the first 45 minutes the application was open, which is about 364 per minute on average.

“For people who have been let go of their jobs or who are trying to get by working on reduced hours, we know the pandemic is weighing heavily on you and your family,” she said.

“We all know that many British Columbians have lost their jobs or had their ability to work severely affected by COVID-19. It’s made it harder and harder for people to make ends meet, to be able to pay their bills.”

Announced last month, the benefit is available to those who have also been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Applicants must also be at least 15 years of age and have been a resident on March 15. They also must have filed or agree to file a 2019 B.C. income tax return. Individuals receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance aren’t eligible.

James explained the province is using CERB as a requirement to keep the application process quick and simple for applicants.

“We wanted to keep the application process as straight forward as possible,” she said. “It really was making sure we can get the money out to people as quickly as possible because we know they need it now.”

While a link was added to the province’s website on Friday, those who would rather apply over the phone can do so on Monday.  

Watch an American Sign Language translation of the news conference on the provincial government’s YouTube page.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Kendra Mangione

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