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Some BC Recovery Benefit applicants still waiting nearly three months later

Last Updated Mar 10, 2021 at 1:19 am PDT

(Image Credit: CityNews)
Summary

If you're still waiting for the BC Recovery Benefit -- you're not alone

B.C.'s finance ministry says 160,000 applications are currently under review and that includes Sayward resident Darryl

Darryl says he's not struggling without the cheque but the government shouldn't have put a Christmas timeline on it

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With Christmas and New Year’s in the rear-view, some people have yet to see the BC Recovery Benefit hit their bank account.

Darryl lives in Sayward, B.C. north of Campbell River, and tells NEWS 1130 he applied on the first day and had trouble almost immediately.

The website kept telling him he was in London, Ontario.

“Because there was an issue with our address, we’re jumping through the hoops and nobody will talk to us,” he says.

After obtaining his proof of address, he was contacted in January to submit additional documents.

All of these requests were for documents in his wife’s name, since Darryl was filing for the both of them. But that proved an even bigger burden since none of their bills or joint bank statements are under her name.

Darryl explains he’s also reached out to the info line, but operators couldn’t provide specifics about his application.

“You don’t get anywhere at all,” he says.

After submitting his documents in mid-January, he says he hasn’t heard any updates since.

Darryl is not the only one still waiting. The Ministry of Finance says 160,000 applications are currently under review, though it’s not clear how many are from people who submitted their application in those first few days.

While some people seeking the benefit are in a tough financial position due to the pandemic, Darryl admits it’s not just about the money for him and his wife. He says he’s more frustrated about the broken promise to British Columbians that it would come in a matter of days.

“After a while you just have to get pissed off. You’re hearing all this stuff that’s going on, but nobody’s doing anything, and I guess that’s what kind of becomes more irritating than anything,” he says.

“If you make a promise, and you say this is the way it’s going to happen, then come on you guys, you’re supposed to be running this province.”

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The 74-year-old adds that it’s been frustrating to see the province run into issues with both the BC Recovery Benefit and what he calls a disastrous first day of vaccine appointment bookings.

More than 400,000 application reviews have been completed, and over $1 billion has been handed out to over 2.3 million applicants to date.

In a statement, the ministry says “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work as quickly as possible to process the remaining applications.”

You can still apply for the $500 for singles or $1,000 for couples until June 30, 2021.