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Some COVID-19 Recovery Benefit payments coming in after technical difficulties

Last Updated Dec 23, 2020 at 12:10 pm PST

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Summary

Despite initial technical difficulties, some people in B.C. are getting their one-time COVID-19 relief payment

More than half a million people in B.C. have been approved for the Recovery Benefit Fund

Individuals can receive up to $500 and families can get up to $1,000, depending on income

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The one-time COVID-19 relief payment from the government is already making its way into the bank accounts of some people in B.C., less than a week after online applications opened.

B.C.’s Finance Minister, Selina Robinson, says the government has approved more than half a million applications for the Recovery Benefit Benefit.

Brent Frain was one of them.

“It was a very delightful, welcomed, wake-up morning present,” he tells NEWS 1130. “It’s definitely a good thing for so many people, especially right now.”

Like many, Frain had experienced some difficulties getting through the online application when it opened last Friday, but he was eventually told he had been approved and would get his money by Dec. 29.

“It was an accessibility issue for me, as a person with a disability, trying to navigate through their online process,” he said.

To his surprise, he received the deposit Wednesday morning.

Others on social media have also posted saying their money came in this morning or last night.

The technical difficulties online, and then on the province’s application phone line Monday, weren’t the only issues people had run into. Some were required to provide additional information for what was advertised as a simple way to get British Columbians money during the pandemic.

RELATED: Claiming B.C.’s COVID-19 Recovery Benefit has not been quick or easy for some in province

Several people had reached out to 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.

Some listeners to NEWS 1130 explained they weren’t able to submit the additional documents because they don’t have a bill for the requested period yet.

“I’m very empathetic to others who are in even worse situations than I am,” one listener said. “I was expecting this to come in before Christmas, and it’s not going to. I feel very disappointed, disillusioned, and it feels like a broken promise.”

The payment amount is based on a sliding scale. Individuals can receive up to $500 and families can get up to $1,000, depending on income.

To apply, people need their net income from their 2019 tax return, which can be found on Line 23600. They’ll also need their social insurance number, driver’s licence number, and direct deposit information.

Applications are open online and over the phone at 1.833.882.0020.

-with files from Sonia Aslam, Lasia Kretzel, and Tim James