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BC Recovery Benefit phone applications stymied by technical difficulties

Last Updated Dec 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm PDT


The BC Recovery Benefit had hit another snag, with the phone application system hit by technical difficulties on Monday

Recovery Benefit phone application system was set to go live at 7:30 a.m. Monday

Phone line problems come after BC Recovery Benefit website crashed due to volume on Friday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The BC Recovery Benefit had hit another snag, with many saying the phone line — which was supposed to go live Monday morning — didn’t work.

This is the second launch-related issue the benefit has faced in the past three days.

People were supposed to be able to apply for the benefit by phone starting at 7:30 a.m. Monday. However, a number of people took to social media to report the line wasn’t working, some reporting that they were only getting a dial-tone.

NEWS 1130 has also confirmed the number provided by the province — 1.833.882.0020 — was not working as of 8 a.m. Service returned later in the afternoon.

The Ministry of Finance was not aware of the phone line issue when NEWS 1130 reached out for comment Monday morning, shortly after the launch.

On Friday, the BC Recovery Benefit website crashed due to volume just moments after the province began accepting applications for the one-time, tax-free payment.

The payment will be directly deposited into bank accounts of eligible applicants and the amount varies depending on income.

Families earning less than $125,000, with a sliding scale to $175,000, could receive up to $1,000. Individuals earning less than $62,500 could see up to $500. Individuals with a net income of up to $87,500 could see a reduced benefit.

In addition to the website challenges many faced on Friday, a number of British Columbians have come forward with other problems accessing the benefit.

By Sunday, several people had contacted NEWS 1130 and took to social media to say they received an email from the province outlining the need for additional documentation, saying they are having to jump through hoops to get a payment they were led to believe would be easy to access.

In an email to NEWS 1130 Monday, the ministry acknowledged the frustration of the delays, saying it has processed more than 394,000 applications and the payment should be deposited in a few days.

It noted additional information was required in “certain circumstances” before an application could be processed.

-with files from Martin MacMahon