More than two million British Columbians have received money from the BC Recovery Benefit. But as of late February, hundreds of thousands of applications are still under review.
The Ministry of Finance tells Daily Hive that approximately 250,000 applications for the program are still under review. And since the benefit opened in mid-December of 2020, more than 300,000 applications have had to be reviewed manually.
“The BC Recovery Benefit is the largest payment program in BC’s history,” a spokesperson from the Ministry of Finance tells Daily Hive. “While we have had great success in getting funding out the door to more than two million British Columbians, we know that others have had to wait longer to receive their benefit.”
The Ministry of Finance says that those who are awaiting a response or their payment are encouraged to “submit additional documents to support their application.”
As of February, more than $1 billion has been paid out by the program so far.
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The BC Recovery Benefit is a tax-free initiative that was promised by the NDP during Premier John Horgan’s election campaign this past fall.
In general, the benefit is available to people:
- residing in British Columbia on December 18, 2020;
- who are at least 19 years old on December 18, 2020, or meet specific eligibility criteria;
- who filed a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return, or meet specific eligibility criteria; or
- who have a valid social insurance number, individual tax number or temporary tax number.
British Columbians receiving income assistance and disability assistance are eligible for the benefit. As well, people on income assistance, disability assistance, and low-income seniors receiving the senior’s supplement will receive an additional recovery benefit at $150 per month from January 2021 to March 2021.