BC Employment and Assistance
Additional Assistance for British Columbians in Need
BC Family Bonus
The BC Family Bonus is a program administered by the Ministry of Finance that provides a tax-free payment to moderate-income families with dependent children.
The BC Family Bonus makes it easier for families with children to leave and stay off income assistance because they can continue to receive the bonus for their children while working or going to school.
Families receive the BCFB as part of a payment called the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB). Also included in this payment are the federal Child Tax Benefit, the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) and the BC Earned Income Benefit (BCEIB).
The CCTB payment is calculated on the previous year's income tax return, so it is important that all families, including families receiving BC Employment and Assistance remember to file their returns on time. Families receiving income assistance should also know that lump sum CCTB payments are treated as exempt income except for any temporary top-up payments made by the ministry.
Families receiving income assistance can receive the CCTB through either the mail or electronic deposits to their bank accounts.
Go to: Schedule of CCTB Payment Dates (Gov't of Canada)
For more information on the CCTB, or any of the individual payments, please contact Canada Revenue Agency at 1 800 387-1193.
BC Healthy Kids
The BC Healthy Kids Program helps low income families with the costs associated with basic dental care and prescription eyewear for their children. Dependent children under 19 years of age, in families receiving any level of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premium assistance through the Ministry of Health, are eligible for the BC Healthy Kids Program.
More information on the BC Healthy Kids Program
1-866-866-0800 (press 4, then 2)
BC Healthy Kids Program
9950 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria V8W 9R3
Employment Program of British Columbia
The Employment Program of British Columbia provides employment services and supports to all unemployed British Columbians, including people who experience multiple barriers to employment.
Services are available to those who have a goal of employment and who want and are able to participate in employment services, including, but not limited to:
- persons with mental health or physical challenges;
- persons with substance abuse problems;
- persons who have problems with basic literacy or numeracy;
- persons of any age group where high unemployment exists; and
- homeless persons.
For more information on the Employment Program of British Columbia (EPBC), please see the WorkBC website: http://www.workbc.ca/workbccentres/welcome.htm
The Senior's Supplement is a monthly payment provided by the Province of British Columbia through the Employment and Assistance Act. The Senior's Supplement ensures a conditionally guaranteed income level for B.C. residents receiving federal Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income supplement or federal Allowances.
If the income level of an eligible senior's total income falls below the level guaranteed by the Province, the supplement is provided to make up the difference. The maximum monthly supplement will be $49.30 for single seniors and $120.50 for senior couples and is paid automatically to eligible recipients. Seniors do not have to apply.
For more information please call 1-866-866-0800 (press 4, then 1)
Senior's Supplement Program
9950 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria V8W 9R3
Special Transportation Subsidy (STS)
Special Transportation Subsidy (STS) is provided to recipients of disability assistance who live in areas where the Bus Pass program is available, but are unable to use public transportation due to their disability or because it would make their disability worse.
To qualify for the STS, people must:
- be in receipt of disability assistance under the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act;
- reside in an area where the Bus Pass program is available; and
- provide certification from a physician verifying:
- that they are unable to use the Bus Pass program or any other form of subsidized public transportation service (such as handyDART and Taxi Savers) due to their disability, or, that their disability would be aggravated by using public transportation; and
- the alternative form of transportation required to accommodate the disability (examples: operating a personal vehicle or paying others for transportation).
Additional Help for people receiving BC Employment and Assistance
The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation provides money for food and shelter costs, plus a variety of other assistance through BC Employment and Assistance.
The following are some additional assistance that may be available to you if you are receiving BC Employment and Assistance.
If you do not have the identification you need to apply for BC Employment and Assistance, the cost of getting a BC Identification card or other documents may be paid on your behalf. This assistance is available on a one-time only basis.
If you are renting accommodation, you may be eligible for this assistance to cover the cost of your security deposit. These are repayable benefits. Security deposits are recovered from income assistance cheques at $20 per month. The security deposit deduction occurs on the second cheque after the security deposit is issued.
Co-operative Housing Association Share Purchase Benefit
If you are moving into co-op housing, you may be eligible for money to pay for your membership share. This benefit must be repaid to the ministry when you move or leave BC Employment and Assistance.
Emergency Moving Benefit
If you are forced to move because the accommodation you are renting has been sold or condemned, or a move to a new place would significantly reduce your expenses, you may receive money to pay your moving expenses.
If you are pregnant or have a child less than seven months old, you may qualify for this monthly assistance to help cover miscellaneous extra costs.
If you require a special diet for a specific medical condition, you may be eligible for this monthly assistance to help cover the extra cost. (See quick link for details.)
Guide Animal Supplement
If you use the services of a registered guide animal, you may be eligible for a monthly benefit to help you maintain the animal.
Available as part of the December cheque, this money helps with extra expenses at Christmas.
School Start-Up Supplement
If you have dependent children, you may receive money to buy back-to-school supplies.
If you have dependent children or are an adult with a disability, you may receive money to pay part or all of the fee to attend a recognized camp.
If you face an unexpected, emergency need that could affect the health of yourself or your family, or the safety of a child, you may be eligible for this one-time grant to cover the cost.
Assistance with Transportation Costs
If you have frequent, local medical appointments, or the medical treatment you need is not available in your community, you may receive money for transportation to your medical appointments.
You may receive money for your transportation and living expenses if you are required to attend court outside your community for:
- a court action through the Family Maintenance Program; or
- a child protection action under the Child, Family and Community Service Act
If you are required to attend a blood testing clinic to determine paternity as a result of a court action through the Family Maintenance Program, you may receive money for transportation.
For more information about the BC Employment and Assistance programs, contact your local Employment and Assistance Office.