VANCOUVER — The British Columbia government is increasing monthly income and disability assistance payments by $300 during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Shane Simpson, the minister of social development and poverty reduction, said Thursday the $300 supplement will be automatically applied to assistance payments for April, May and June.
The first payment will be made on April 26 and will go to as many as 263,000 people, he said.
"We know that people are concerned and they're scared," he told a news conference. "We know that people who are living in poverty and living vulnerable are even more scared and concerned."
Simpson said people receiving assistance and disability payments who are not eligible for the federal government's emergency support programs will get the $300 monthly supplement.
The supplement will also be provided to low-income seniors and recipients of income assistance or disability assistance who live in special care facilities, he said.
Simpson said people who are getting assistance from the province will not see a reduction in their benefits if they also qualify for the new $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
"There will be no clawback," he added.
Simpson said people who receive transit passes will also get the monthly $52 payment while fares are suspended.
He said the $300 supplement will increase the monthly assistance amount for a single person with a disability to $1,483.42. A single mother with two children will receive monthly assistance of $1,909.08.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2020.