Welcome to the July 17 edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families. As a reminder, you can find all Updates (including past editions) posted on our website here. If you know of anyone who would like to receive future Updates, please share the link to our sign up page with them. If you have a specific question, or feedback about this update, you can send an email to CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca.

CLBC and Government Updates

Plain language teleconference summary now available

Last week, a teleconference for families took place with Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Daniele Behn Smith joining CLBC CEO Ross Chilton to respond to health-related questions as services begin to be restored in Phases 2 and 3 of the COVID-19 recovery. Social Development and Poverty Reduction Minister Shane Simpson provided opening and closing remarks.

You can read a plain language summary of the teleconference call here. This summary, as well as the audio recording of the call, are also posted to the CLBC website here.

Public Health Agency of Canada shares helpful tools

Canada’s Public Health Agency has created a number of helpful, visual tools about ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These include this infographic about effective handwashing and this video about physical distancing.

You can also find links to more helpful tools, resources and information on the Government of Canada’s website by visiting: canada.ca/coronavirus

Volunteer to help create accessibility standards

Accessibility Standards Canada is currently creating two technical standards development committees that will focus on plain language and outdoor spaces respectively. These technical committees will identify where people with disabilities may face barriers and will help develop national standards to work towards eliminating these barriers.

Each committee will include people with disabilities, and anyone interested in these volunteer roles can apply until August 4, 2020. Find full details by clicking here, including links for applying to volunteer on each of the committees.

Disability Alliance BC offering free webinar

Disability Alliance BC (DABC) is hosting a free webinar on July 22 from 11:00 a.m. to noon about the rights of people with disabilities to have their essential support person or attendant with them in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar will be presented by Andrew Robb, Staff Lawyer for the Disability Law Clinic at DABC. The webinar will be recorded and will be available on DABC’s website after the broadcast. ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. Click here for full details, including information about how to join.

Staying connected and supported

 

Learn about First Nations Health Authority’s new mobile app and Virtual Doctor of the Day

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) has launched the new FNHA Mobile App as a convenient way to access information that supports the health, wellness and safety of B.C. First Nations. You can read more about the app here, including information about how to download it on your mobile device.

The First Nations Virtual Doctor of the Day program enables members of B.C. First Nations who may not have a doctor of their own, or who have lost access due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to make virtual appointments. The intent of the program is to enable more First Nations people and their family members to access primary health care closer to home. The program includes doctors of Indigenous ancestry, and all doctors are trained to follow the principles and practices of cultural safety and humility.

Learn more about the program here, including information about how to set up an appointment.

Explore the importance of planning during a pandemic

MORC, an organization based in Michigan, is hosting a free webinar series with people from around North America to talk about the importance of planning and what people should be thinking about for themselves and for those they care about during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can click the links below to find more information and register for the upcoming sessions:

Anxiety Canada app provides mental health support

MindShift CBT is a mobile app provided by Anxiety Canada that uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) strategies to help people learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of anxiety.

Learn more about the app and how to download it by clicking here.

Emotional support guide for seniors

B.C.’s Northern Health Authority has published a guide called Emotional Support for Seniors: Practical Strategies for Anxiety and Stress Related to COVID-19. The document includes advice on keeping routines, eating healthy and important information about support available from the provincial and federal governments. You can click here to download the guide.

Self Advocate Corner

Tools and resources for visiting the doctor

Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (HCARDD), in partnership with the Surrey Place Development Disabilities Primary Care Program in Toronto, has created a number of accessible, plain language resources that can be of assistance for self advocates. Here are a few examples, and you can click the links to access each of these:

  • About My Health Tool is a form to fill out and share with health care providers to share information about likes, dislikes and preferred ways of communicating.
  • My Health Care Visit Tool is a form to fill out with a health care provider during a visit to better understand the purpose of the visit and what the next steps are.
  • A Virtual Doctor’s Visit is a video showing an example of a visit to the doctor during COVID-19 using video technology.

You can find more information and resources related to COVID-19 on HCARDD’s website here.

Self Advocate Leadership Network’s YouTube Channel

In addition to their website, The Self Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) also shares information and updates on their YouTube channel which you can find here. Recent videos include:

Stories of hope and encouragement

The Spirit Orcas’ Great Big Swim

Spirit Orcas, a group of eight swimmers with intellectual disabilities, and Susan Simmons, an ultra-marathon swimmer, have embarked on an eight-week 80-kilometre swim that started on Canada Day.

Dubbed “the Great Big Swim,” the endurance event supports the Victoria Foundation’s Vital Victoria Fund, which aims to help local charities endure the effects of the global pandemic.

You can learn more about the swim, including progress updates and a spot tracker to follow the swimmers, by visiting Susan’s website here.

BC Autism Awards 2020

Nominations for the 2020 BC Autism Awards open on July 22 to highlight and recognize “the everyday heroes in our story.” The awards will celebrate the passion, strengths and achievements of volunteers, businesses, self advocates and community members across British Columbia.

You can read more about the awards, including information about how to submit a nomination, by visiting Autism BC’s website here.

Sproutflix Film Festival continues

Sproutflix is a film distributor that hosts a large and diverse assortment of films featuring people with developmental disabilities. During COVID-19, they are hosting a virtual film festival on their website with free access to short films.

You can click here to find the latest free playlist of three unique films that are available to watch for three weeks.

Updated Support and Connection Toolkit highlights resources and activities

In each edition of this update, we share an updated version of the Support and Connection Toolkit which gathers links to resources and activities into one document for easy access. See the most updated document here.

Signing off

Dear family members –

As I approach my first anniversary with Community Living British Columbia (CLBC), I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to family members. This has been an incredibly challenging year for all British Columbians as we have faced the first global pandemic in our lifetimes.

The pandemic, and all the challenges associated with our response, have meant that most of you have taken on additional responsibilities for the wellbeing of your family member.  You have done this as an expression of your love and your desire to keep your family member safe. We know that for most of you that has not been easy as CLBC funded supports were modified and, in many cases, reduced to keep people safe. This was also at a time when most community resources that your family member relied on have been closed.

Most of you have taken on additional responsibilities

While service providers across the province have done an amazing job in transforming the support they offer, we could not have gotten to this point without the support of families. When you took on more responsibility for your loved one, this helped agencies focus their support on those individuals and families that needed it most. Even under the enormous strain of the pandemic, individuals, families, and providers worked together to get us through.

I am greatly appreciative of what families have done. I also realize that it has left many of you tired. As providers are now moving into stage 2 and 3 it is our hope that you and your family member will be able to rely on more of the essential support you had before the pandemic.

Service providers are restoring services in Phase 2

In order to keep people safe, group services have not been able to operate the way they did before the pandemic. For the foreseeable future individuals will need to be supported one-on-one or in very small groups to reduce the risk of virus transmission. For some individuals that means they will be relying on less hours of support. Providers will be doing their best to make sure people get as much support as they can while operating in ways that keep individuals, families, and workers safe.

We don’t know what the fall will look like but CLBC and providers have been actively planning for a second wave. As hard as it would be, we might need to quickly return to the reduced levels of contact that helped us flatten the curve in the first wave. I share this with you not to worry you, but to help us all prepare ourselves for different possibilities.

Please stay connected to your agency or CLBC

I believe strongly in the resiliency of families. I also strongly believe that we need to do what we can to support families to remain connected over the next number of months. While there may be some stressful times ahead, we don’t want any family to feel isolated and alone. For those of you involved with an agency we know they will continue to be your primary contact. For those of you not connected to an agency we want you to feel comfortable reaching out to the CLBC team.

This fall we will be announcing on our website a series of webinars on topics that will be relevant to families to help you get through this time. We would also like to remind you about the support available through the Family Support Institute (FSI). FSI has demonstrated how valuable family-to-family support can be during very challenging times and continues to be a tremendous resource.

Please subscribe to our regular updates

In the meantime, we will continue to post information for families on our website here, and provide regular bulletin updates. To stay connected, we would encourage you to subscribe now to our news list. You can do so by visiting this page on our web site today.

In closing I would like to thank you for all you do and let you know we will work with our partners to ensure that your family member gets as much support as possible as we work together to get through this very challenging time.

Sincerely,

Ross Chilton
CEO, Community Living BC

SACL’s Phase 2 Safety Plan & the Pandemic Continuity Plan are available on our Resources Page.

Please review for important safety implementations.

Welcome to the June 4 edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families. As a reminder, you can find all Updates (including past editions) posted on our website here. If you know of anyone who would like to receive future Updates, please share the link to our sign up page with them. If you have a specific question, or feedback about this update, you can send an email to CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca.

CLBC and Government Updates

Plain language teleconference summary now available

Last week, a fourth teleconference for individuals and families took place to share updates and answer questions about CLBC’s COVID-19 recovery planning.

A plain language summary of questions and answers addressed on the call is now available by clicking here and is also posted on the plain language page of our website here.

Upcoming teleconference for individuals and self advocates

A teleconference for individuals CLBC serves and the self advocacy community has now been scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 with Dr. Daniele Behn-Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO. This teleconference will be a chance to have COVID-19 health-related questions answered.

If you have a question to submit for the call, please send it by email to CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca and write “Individual and Self Advocate Call” in the email subject line.

The call in details are below, and an invitation will be sent out soon. We will share the audio recording of the teleconference and a plain language summary in a future edition of this update after the call takes place.

Date: Tuesday, June 16
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m
Vancouver: 604-681-0260
Elsewhere (outside Vancouver): 1-877-353-9184
Participant code: 37568#

Stage 2 Recovery information now available

Last Friday, CLBC CEO Ross Chilton sent letters to individuals and to family members explaining what CLBC is doing to support service providers as they adjust services moving into Stage 2 recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document for individuals and families was posted on our website here. You can also click here to read the FAQ document.

Information about tools and guidance for services providers is also posted on the website here.

Find Indigenous resources on our website and news of CLBC’s commitment to Indigenous service

As First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples take steps to keep every person safe from threat of the COVID-19 virus, we’re reminded of the strength and resiliency of people when we rely on each other.

To help make information easier to find, CLBC in consultation with its Indigenous Advisory Committee has compiled a page of resources to share with Indigenous individuals we support, which you can find on our website here.

The page includes links to a number of Indigenous organizations, including the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) and the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). The FNHA’s resources benefit those that may have already experienced isolation prior to this crisis and are a great reference for us all of as we watch over our most vulnerable. You can find their COVID-19 portal here, which helps First Nations in B.C. and their health care providers and community leaders keep themselves and others safe. FNHA also regularly posts updates in their News section here. People in B.C. who may require emotional support can contact the 24-Hour KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717.

Also, earlier this week, CLBC announced the creation of a new director position that will lead the Indigenous CLBC team to improve Indigenous services throughout the province. You can read the full announcement on our website here to learn more about the new director position and the Indigenous CLBC team.

B.C. government shares regular updates on social media

In a May 27 tweet, @BCGovNews shared the following key message that summarizes the current approach to COVID-19 recovery: “We are moving forward carefully into Phase 2, assessing our progress week by week. This slow and thoughtful approach is our ‘new normal’ and will continue to be adapted as we learn more.”

As a reminder you can follow the B.C. government’s Twitter and Facebook accounts at the links below for daily updates and links to information and resources:

VIDEO: How to wear a non-medical mask

The Government of Canada’s Healthy Canadians YouTube channel has posted a video providing instructions on how to properly wear a non-medical mask or face covering to limit the spread of COVID-19 when physical distancing is difficult. Click here to watch the video.

 

Staying connected and supported

myCommunity BC maps for COVID-19

myCommunity BC is an online map built by British Columbians to be an online resource for people to find welcoming places in their own communities and around the province. The myCommunity BC site, which you can visit here, helps strengthen opportunities for inclusion and connection in communities.

myCommunity BC has created a category in the map’s dropdown menu called “Community Emergency Resources” to help map the amazing gifts and resources that are currently in effect and being offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. A big thank-you to the CLBC Welcome Workshop presenters who joined our Community Mapping for COVID-19 team. Over the last month we have worked in partnership with the Family Support Institute to research and map everything from food drives to access to medical supplies to creative ways to keep social connection. To learn about or share inclusive resources and places in your community, visit the myCommunity BC map here.

Mental Health First Aid COVID-19 self-care and resilience guide

More than ever, staying healthy means protecting our mental health. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), aims to improve mental health literacy and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. MFHA has created a COVID-19 Self-Care & Resilience Guide which you can read here. You can also find other helpful COVID-19 resources from the MHCC here.

Self Advocate Corner

Share your video

Self Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS) and the Self Advocate Leadership Network (SALN) have been releasing videos like this one sharing the different ways they are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they are inviting others to take part by submitting their own 30-second video clip about being more independent to sas@shsbc.ca by Monday, June 15 for a chance to be featured. Learn more by watching Michaela’s video here.

Here are some helpful tips for filming a great video:

  • always film with your camera sideways
  • check your video: make sure you’re clear, not in shadows and the volume is good
  • record for 20 to 30 seconds
  • by sharing your video, be aware that your image, voice and words will be shared publicly on the SALN website and social media sites
  • and last but not least, have fun!

Self Advocate Net website publishes positive stories during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 crisis, SelfAdvocateNet.com is looking for positive stories about people overcoming challenges and adapting to new routines. If you, or someone you know has a story idea to share, find more information by visiting the story submission page here.

And remember to visit the site to check out new stories that have been published. Here’s a great one written by Krista Milne, in which she shares this message: “I want to tell other people to try and think of the good things, and stay away from the negative. Always think about the positive. We can fight this together. You are not alone in this. Together we are powerful.”

Cooking up a storm

Being at home more during these times means that many of us are looking for new, easy to prepare recipes. Here’s a recipe we came across for a pizza bagel on the website Accessible Chef. Enjoy!

Stories of hope and encouragement

Easter Seals virtual summer camps

Easter Seals of British Columbia / Yukon is bringing their summer camp experience for children, youth and adults with diverse abilities to the online world through a new program called Camp@Home. Through interactive, fun and social online activities and programs, campers of all ages and abilities learn with trained counsellors through role-playing game adventures, crafts, drawing, cooking and more.

Find all of the details here, including information about how to register.

ConnecTra Society’s virtual gatherings

ConnecTra Society is a connecting agency, linking people with physical disabilities to activities and programs to help them grow, gain confidence and be active and involved in community life.

To help unite people, ConnecTra is hosting virtual community gatherings called ConnecTogether until June 30 using YouTube, Zoom, Soundcloud and Facebook. The scheduled list of online gatherings can be found on their website here and activities including educational videos, live and interactive webinars, podcasts and accessible fitness programs.

Toolkit highlights resources and things to do

We’re grateful to all our community partners, CLBC staff, self advocate and family leaders and many others who have shared resources, ways to connect and things to do during these challenging and unknown times. For your easy access, we have gathered links to resources and activities into one document that you can see here and will continue to add to and share in our weekly updates. Please let us know if you have something to add to the toolkit by emailing CLBCInfo@gov.bc.ca.

Signing off

We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition. Until next time, here’s a reminder of the importance of the connections and relationships we have with each other:

Please see here for an updated letter regarding moving forward with SACL Services in ‘phase 2’

CLBC and Government Updates

Emergency supports announced for home share and support service providers

Yesterday, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction announced provincial emergency funding that will be distributed through Community Living BC to ensure people with developmental disabilities stay supported and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the B.C. Government’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan, up to $35.6 million will be available over three months from CLBC to support service providers to continue delivering residential services, including group homes, home sharing and supported independent living.

You can click here to read the full news release.

Information on how to access applications for support will be posted on the CLBC website in the coming days at: www.communitylivingbc.ca/emergency-funding.

Teleconference audio and plain language summary now available

Last Friday, April 17, a third teleconference for individuals and families took place. Minister Shane Simpson and Deputy Minister David Galbraith of the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and CLBC CEO Ross Chilton provided the latest updates and answered questions about services and supports.

You can listen to the audio recording on the CLBC website here.

Click here to find a plain language summary of the call, with questions and answers that were discussed.

We will share information about future teleconference calls as soon as it is available on the information page for individuals and families here and via email.

Support Worker recruitment campaign begins

One of the challenges that individuals, families and service providers are experiencing is a lack of available support workers. For service providers, support staff who work in larger group programs have now shifted to individual and small group support, often working with one individual and family. For individuals who are living independently and families who are now supporting their loved ones at home throughout the entire day, finding people to provide support and respite is an increasing challenge.

Seeking to alleviate this, the Family Support Institute, Vela Canada, and Community Living BC are partnering on a recruitment campaign to bring more people – particularly those who now find themselves without work – into the community living field to work with individuals and families. The campaign targets potential support workers from the education, allied health, arts and culture, recreation, leisure, retail and service fields and directs them to supportworkercentral.com, FSI’s online portal for connecting individuals and families with support workers.

Downloadable copies of recruitment flyers are available by clicking the links below:

These can be printed and posted in your community, for example at local grocery stores or pharmacies. Individuals and families, along with those interested in working as support workers, can register for free at www.supportworkercentral.com.

Plain language posters from Fraser Health

Fraser Health’s Developmental Disabilities Mental Health Services has created a series of plain language posters with helpful information and tips to help individuals, families and caregivers during this COVID-19 pandemic. You can click the links below to see each of the posters (which can also be downloaded and printed):

Staying connected and supported

Family Support Institute’s online resources

The Family Support Institute of BC (FSI) has embraced technology in a variety of ways. FSI has put together a great online set of programs, tools and supports specifically in response to families’ needs during the COVID-19 Crisis, which you can find on their website here.

FSI also hosts regional Zoom hangouts every day, which are safe spaces for families and caregivers to come together for support, camaraderie, inspiration, sharing challenges and trouble-shooting. Whatever you might be feeling right now — overwhelmed, sadness, fear, anxiety — you are not alone.  This week’s Zoom hangouts will explore fun and “out of the box” ways of practicing self-care at home and virtually in our communities. Click here to find the full schedule of regional Zoom video calls, including the links to join. All are welcome to attend.

For those new to using Zoom, FSI has also created a plain language tutorial which you can access here.

Fostering resiliency with Kim Barthel

Kim Barthel and The Relationship Matters team have been working with CLBC since the fall of 2017. Kim and the team have provided the series of Trauma Informed Practice Workshops (TIPI and TIP II) across the province, along with continued support to the many communities of practice which have grown out of the TIP workshops.

They will be facilitating a free Zoom session next Tuesday, April 28 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the topic: Fostering Resiliency – Staying Connected During These Turbulent Times – Trauma in Practice (TIP) in Action. (Future sessions are scheduled for May 12, 19 and June 2 and 16. We will share information about these on CLBC’s Facebook and Twitter channels as they approach.)

Meeting details are below. Grab your lunch and join in!

Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/5471258608
Call-in: 1-647-558-0588
Meeting ID: 547 125 860

Self Advocate Corner

We’ve added this new section to the Update as a place to share useful resources and information based on suggestions and input from self advocates.

Plain language emergency plan

Semiahmoo House Society’s Self Advocate Leadership Network has developed an emergency plan template in plain language which can be downloaded here. Completing the different sections in this template helps people to plan ahead for any emergency situations they may face during the COVID-19 crisis.

Take your best shot

As a way to stay connected while we are currently physically distanced from each other, BC People First is holding a photo contest this month. Share a photo with an idea or advice on how to have fun and stay active at home. Just post a photo on Instagram or Facebook and tag @BCPeopleFirst to enter the contest. You can find more information and contest rules here.

 

Stories of hope and encouragement

Sharing recognition

Social media has become a great place to recognize the hard work of essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s a recent tweet from Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam doing just that:

Wishin’ and hopin’

A wife and husband musical duo, who are both support workers with BeConnected Support Services in Victoria, have recorded a catchy tune inspired by the residents they support who are having a tough time coping with all the changes to their routines. Click here to give it a listen and we’re sure you’ll be humming along in no time.

Offline fun

While computers and smartphones are great tools for staying connected during this time of physical distancing, there are many activities that don’t rely on these at all. Here’s a great list of things to do at home, put together by the Burnaby Association for Community Living (BACI), many of which can be done without the internet. There are even some spaces to come up with your own ideas.

Getting in the habit

The current pandemic has caused many of us to adopt new habits. While many of these are out of necessity, here’s a reminder that some these habits may be worth holding on to, even when life starts getting back to normal. Until next time!

Avoid the Scams

 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

 

In troubling times there is always someone trying to take advantage… COVID-19 has brought out the best in people but has also created opportunity for those looking to capitalize on this dangerous environment: “the cybercriminals”. These are not teenagers with hoodies pulled over their heads (although there may be a few), but sophisticated, well-run, heavily-financed crime syndicates with many being state-sponsored “cyber warriors”. It’s big business with potentially devastating consequences.

 

Cybercriminals are going all in on COVID-19 scams. This includes creating scams related to the stimulus packages that the federal government is making available to Canadians. This is one of the most dangerous times that we have ever faced; possible fear and desperation could lead people to click on emails that they may not usually click on and these threat actors are capitalizing on this environment. Cybercriminals are now almost exclusively conducting COVID-19 themed campaigns. According to new studies, published by Proofpoint, 80% of all threats identified by the firm are COVID-19 related.

 

Solid reputable IT firms should produce reporting, training options, and security assessments that provide you with the “ounce of prevention”.

 

— Andre Brosseau, President | innov8

 

 

Dear CLBC eligible individuals and families –

I hope you are well and safe. I am writing to provide you with an update on our most recent work to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help keep families informed, we have now launched a CLBC COVID-19 weekly update. You can look here to see our first three editions. Please read the April 8th update to see a plain language recap of our Ministry’s announcement of provincial supports for people on income assistance, resources from the Cerebral Palsy Association and Autism Community Training (ACT) as well as stories of hope and encouragement.

Please note, that we will be holding another teleconference call with Minister Shane Simpson, Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and CLBC CEO Ross Chilton on Friday, April 17, 2020, from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Details will be sent next week.

In these last weeks, some you have written to ask about what efforts are being made to work with service providers to ensure services are delivered in a safe manner. Our agencies are adopting recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer and adjusting services to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and to be prepared should any incidents arise. You can read the recommendations here.

It is our top priority to support agencies to make these adjustments, and we extend our deep appreciation to support workers who continue to provide care one-on-one, in group homes and in other settings during this time.

We are monitoring the needs of individuals, families, and service providers and working on supports, resources and contingency plans that will help everyone stay safe and supported as this situation evolves.

Please continue to check our web site for new messages and updates. Also, please join us on our next teleconference call.

Sincerely,

Ross Chilton
CEO, Community Living BC

Due to COVID-19, new emergency measures are in place to ensure that people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors, do not encounter additional barriers.

Income & Disability Assistance

If you are not receiving federal Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and are on:

  • Income Assistance
  • Disability Assistance
  • Comforts Allowance
  • BC Senior’s Supplement

You will automatically receive a $300 supplement on your cheques issued in April, May, and June. No action is required on your part.

If you are receiving federal EI or the CERB and receiving:

  • Income Assistance
  • Disability Assistance

You will not be eligible for the $300 supplement.

CERB and EI are temporarily exempt, meaning they will have no effect on your regular Income Assistance or Disability Assistance.

Apply for the CERB

Applications will open on April 6, please visit the federal website for instructions.

BC Bus Pass Program

If you are on Disability Assistance and receiving the BC Bus Pass:

  • There is a current province-wide suspension of BC Transit and Translink bus fares
  • You will automatically receive the $52 Transportation Supplement on your cheque starting in April
  • This will continue for as long as BC Transit and Translink are suspending fares
  • No action is required on your part. Your bus pass will not be cancelled and will remain active for use on Sky Train and Sea Bus services. You will not need to re-apply once fares are re-instated
  • For people already receiving the Transportation Supplement of $52, there is no change and no action is required on your part

Receiving payments

Direct Deposit is a safe and dependable way to receive payments. Money is deposited directly to your Bank or Credit Union account. You have immediate access to your money.

Sign up for Direct Deposit.

Accessing Service

If you have documents to submit, you can mail them or place them in the drop box at any office or phone 1-866-866-0800 to discuss options.

To avoid coming into an office, access services by phone or via My Self Serve.

Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) is also available:

  • Vancouver: 604-775-0303
  • Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-661-8773

In-person service support may be impacted by COVID-19.  Check your local office for hours of operation before visiting.

Office Health & Safety

Changes to in-person services are in place due to COVID-19. To protect the health of our citizens and employees, we are:

  • Supporting physical distancing in our offices through signage, temporary shields and visual cues
  • Enhancing the cleaning services in our waiting areas
  • Posting information about proper hygiene practices and health precautions

Financial Supports

>>Summary List of COVID-19 Public Health Orders and Government Announcements
>>Official BC Government Covid-19 Website

Below you will find a summary of financial supports that are available to support people and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. New information is also issued as a bulletin when new public health orders are issued. Subscribe to have them automatically delivered to your inbox.

New and updated information is highlighted. (Last Update: March 31, 2020)

Businesses (General) – Businesses (Sector) – Housing – Income (Workforce) – Income Supplements –  Misc Supports – Other

 

HOUSING
Support Description How to Access
⚡ BC Hydro Bill deferral, payment plans, as well as crisis funding is available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO or apply online.
🏦 Freeze on rental rates No rent increases are allowed in BC, effective April 1. No action needed. Contact RTB with questions.
🏦 BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Provides up to $500/month towards rent, paid directly to landlords. Applications open mid-April. More info here.
🏘️ Mortgages (CMHC-insured) Mortgage payment deferrals available for CMHC-insured loans. 🍁Check with your lender.
🏘️ Mortgages (non-CMHC) Check with your lender about payment deferral options. 🍁Check with your lender.
🛏️ Emergency Housing Existing shelters still active and additional emergency options may be available. Call 2-1-1  or search online.
⚠️ See more re: Housing.

 

PERSONAL INCOME – WORKFORCE
Support Description How to Access
💵 Employment Insurance (EI) Existing EI benefit continues to be available. Provides up to $573/week to people who have lost income. 🍁Apply online.
💵 EI Sickness Benefit One-week waiting period has been waived. 🍁Call 1-833-381-2725 or apply online.
💵 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Provides $2000/month to workers who lose income due to COVID-19, including contractors and self-employed people.
(Note: Previous description implied only those who do not qualify for EI are eligible for CERB. However, CERB may actually take the place of EI for new applicants when available. In the meantime, those who qualify for EI should continue to submit for EI, as it is a benefit that lasts up to 45 weeks and can continue after the CERB benefit ends on Oct 3.)
🍁Applications open on April 6. Get ready to apply by ensuring you are registered for My Account with the CRA and have set up direct deposit. More info here.
💵 BC Emergency Benefit One-time additional tax-free payment of $1000 to those on EI or CERB. Check back for application instructions.
⚠️ See more re: Labour & Industry.

 

INCOME SUPPLEMENTS FOR PEOPLE
Support Description How to Access
💵 GST-credit One-time boost of up to $600 per eligible couple, $400 for eligible individuals in May. 🍁Benefit is paid out according to your income tax return. More info here.
💵 Climate Action Tax Credit One-time boost of up to $564 for eligible families of 4 and $218 for eligible individuals in an enhanced payment in July. Children under 18 years old must be registered for the CCB to qualify. No other action is needed; benefit is paid out according to your income tax return. More info here.
👪 Canada Child Benefit (CCB) One-time boost of $300 per child in May. 🍁No action if you are already registered for CCB. Otherwise, apply online.
🤸 Youth in Care Youth in care will not age out of services during the pandemic. Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program payments will continue despite school closures and training interruptions.
🧘 Young Adults Program (AYA) Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program payments will continue to former youth-in-care despite school closures and training interruptions.
💵 Income Assistance Existing Income Assistance program continues to be available for those in need with no other resources. Apply online, by phone at 1-866-866-0800, or visit your local office.
♿ People with Disabilities Existing Disability Assistance program continues to be available. See also full list of additional supports here. Apply online, by phone at 1-866-866-0800, or visit your local office.
👵 Seniors Existing programs continue to be available, including:
—–Old Age Security (OAS): $614/mo (max)
—–Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS): $916/mo (max)
—–Allowance / Allowance for Survivor: $1389/mo (max)
🍁 Eligible seniors are automatically enrolled, but applications can also be submitted online.

 

OTHER FINANCIAL SUPPORTS FOR PEOPLE
Support Description How to Access
🚘 Hospital parking Parking is free of charge at all health authority owned/operated health care sites.
🚗 ICBC Monthly payment deferral for up to 90 days with no penalty. Call 1-800-665-6442 or apply online.
👪 Emergency Child Care Funding Child care providers receiving emergency government funding cannot charge parent fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families, starting April. Check with your provider to see if they are in this program.
🏫 BC Student Loans Six-month interest-free moratorium on repaymentstarting April. Repayment will be paused automatically.
🏫 Canada Student Loans Six-month interest-free moratorium on repaymentstarting April. 🍁Repayment will be paused automatically.
🚌 BC Transit & TransLink Fare-free boarding on all buses. Enter through rear of the bus, unless accessible loading is required.
👵 Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) Minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25% for 2020. 🍁Learn more here.
✈️ Emergency Travel Loan Emergency loan of $5000 available to Canadians travelling abroad. 🍁Dial +1 613-996-8885 or send an email.
🧾 Income tax return Filing due date is deferred to June 1. Payments owed are deferred until after August 31. 🍁

 

BUSINESSES (GENERAL)
Support Description How to Access
⚡ BC Hydro Bill deferral and payment plans. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO.
👷 WorkSafeBC Payment deadlines are postponed without penalty. More info.
💵 Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Covers up to 75% of wages for businesses, charities, and non-profits that have lost more than 30% of their revenue. Max subsidy of $847 per week per employee, backdated to March 15. 🍁Check back for application instructions.
💵 Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) Financing support for small and medium-sized businesses. Available mid-April.
—–Canada Emergency Business Account: Loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits, interest-free for one year. A portion may be forgivable. Available mid-April.
—– Loan Guarantee: Operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs. Available mid-April.
—–Co-Lending Program: Co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program. Available mid-April.
🍁Speak with your financial institution. Learn more.
🧾 Federal income tax Payments owed are deferred until after August 31. 🍁
🧾 BC business taxes Payments for Employer health tax (EHT), provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and carbon tax are deferred until after Sept 30. Scheduled April 1 increases to provincial carbon tax and PST are deferred.
🧾 School Tax Cut of 50% for business and industry property classes, to be passed onto tenants on triple-net leases.
🧾 GST/HST Payments owed deferred to June 30. 🍁
🧾 Customs duties & taxes Payments owed deferred to June 30. 🍁
⚠️ See more re: Businesses.
⚠️ Click here: BC Government Small Business Support List

 

BUSINESSES (BY SECTOR)
Support Description How to Access
🧸 Child care sector Emergency funding is available for child care providers that stay open and that close. Learn more.
🎭 Arts & Culture sector $3-million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to give operating and eligible project clients a supplement of up to $15,000. Clients will receive a 50% advance on 2020-21 funding. Via BC Arts Council.
📰 Publishing and news sectors Simplified process for Canada Book Fund and Canada Periodical Fund. Journalism Tax Measures. 🍁
🎥 Broadcasting sector CRTC Part I licence fees waived. 🍁
🏞️ Tourism businesses in national parks and historic sites Tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas will have payments on commercial leases and licences of occupation deferred without interest until September 1. 🍁Wait to be contacted by Parks Canada.
🐚 Seafood sector Seafood growers, shellfish farmers, and processors, will have access to the $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program. 🍁Via FCC.
🚜 Farmers and Agri-Food sector Access to the $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program. 🍁Via FCC.
✈️Airports Rents paid on ground leases waived. 🍁
⚠️ See more re: Businesses.

 

FUNDING BOOSTS TO CHARITIES FOR PROGRAM DELIVERY
Support Description
🥫 Food Banks BC Funding boost to Food Banks British Columbia, who will distribute the money among food banks province wide.
🧒🏼 Kids Help Phone Funding boost to Kids Help Phone, which provides young people with mental health support. 🍁
👵 United Way Canada Funding boost to United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors, such as: Delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports. 🍁

Questions? For items marked “🍁”, contact your local MP. Otherwise, contact your local MLA.

Businesses (General) – Businesses (Sector) – Housing – Income (Workforce) – Income Supplements – Misc Supports – Other