The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time $1,000 payment to people who lost income because of COVID-19. Residents who are receiving EI Benefits or the new Canade Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are eligible. Applications will open soon with a one-time payment in May 2020.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April.

Employment Insurance Benefits – Service Canada

Note: All Service Canada offices are now closed for in person services. Service Canada representatives are continuing to work remotely, processing applications online and providing telephone and teletype support.

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218

TTY: 1-800-529-3742

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits – Service Canada

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.

British Columbia Income Assistance
My Self Serve (MySS) provides online access to income and disability assistance for residents of British Columbia. You can access the My Self Serve website at .

If you are not currently in receipt of income or disability assistance, My Self Serve will guide you through the Application for Assistance. If you need help with your application contact the ministry at 1-866-866-0800.

Work Sharing Program

Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers.

Wage Subsidies

The recently announced wage subsidy for qualifying businesses; up to 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This is meant to help businesses keep and return their workforce to their payrolls. More details on eligibility criteria will be shared before the end of the month.