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B.C.'s Emergency Benefit for Workers applications worth $1,000 opens May 1

Last Updated Apr 23, 2020 at 9:01 pm PDT

FILE - B.C. Finance Minister Carole James expects unemployment to rise further due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — If you’re having a tough time paying your bills, you can ask the province for help, starting May 1.

Next Friday, applications will be taken for B.C.’s Emergency Benefit for Workers, where you can get a $1,000 from the province, tax-free.

“This benefit is further help for British Columbians who are worried about paying their bills and making ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance in a release. “During these uncertain times, we want to get through this together by helping displaced workers support themselves and their families.”

The province says if you’re eligible for the federal government’s emergency benefit, you’re likely suitable for this one too.

Once you apply, you can expect your payment within days, although the province warns there may be minor delays during the initial surge.

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This benefit is part of B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan worth $5-billion.

The plan is to “provide income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people and businesses, and to support the services people count on.”

Applications can be made online at gov.bc.ca.

You can also call 778 309-4630 or toll-free within B.C. at 1 855 955-3545, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for general support or questions starting May 1.

Applications over the phone will begin on May 4.