RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUALS
Relevant resources, tools, and information about funding and grants for individuals during the COVID-19 crisis.
To learn about and access local programs for individuals including meal programs, rental assistance, support for seniors, child care for essential workers and others, please visit the City of Richmond website.
Richmond Connects is the City of Richmond’s online hub, created to support and to stay connected to community members during this unprecedented time. In addition to enhancing individual and community well-being, your participation in Richmond Connects will continue to highlight our city as an active and healthy community as we continue to strive for excellence in wellness, recreation, sport, health, and physical activity.
Key Provincial and Federal programs are listed below:
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Employment Insurance
- B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers
- B.C. Hydro COVID-19 Relief Fund
- Fortis B.C. Customer Recovery Fund
- B.C. Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS)
- GST Credit
- B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit
- Canada Child Benefit
WHAT: $500 a week, paid out four weeks at a time, for up to a maximum of 16 weeks. Benefits flow two to 10 days after applying. This benefit was created to ease the unprecedented number of people attempting to apply for Employment Insurance. Note: You cannot receive both the CERB and EI for the same period, but you can apply for EI after the CERB runs out.
ELIGIBILITY: Workers who live in Canada, are at least 15 years old, have stopped working due to COVID-19, did not voluntarily quit their job, may or may not be eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits, had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or the 12 months leading up to application, expect to be without work for at least 14 consecutive days in the first four-week period.
HOW TO APPLY: Online beginning April 6. (If you have already applied for EI before March 15, you will be processed through existing EI channels.)
WHAT: Up to a possible $573 a week to those who have lost income or work, whether due to job loss or sickness. Paid out every two weeks, about two to three business days after completing bi-weekly reports. Waiting time now eliminated. Note: You cannot receive both the CERB and EI for the same period, but you can apply for CERB if your EI ends before Oct. 3, 2020.
ELIGIBILITY: Workers employed in insurable employment, lost your job through no fault of your own, have been without work for at least seven days in the past 52 weeks, have worked for a required number of insurable employment hours in the past 52 weeks or since start of last EI claim, are ready and capable of working, are actively looking for work.
HOW TO APPLY: Online. (If you have applied to EI after March 15, you will automatically be channeled through CERB.)
WHAT: One-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 for B.C. residents who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
ELIGIBILITY: BC residents who are qualified to receive federal Employment Insurance or the CERB.
HOW TO APPLY: Applications not yet available.
WHAT: A three-month credit applied to your account if either you or your spouse/partner have stopped working due to COVID-19. Only one credit is allowed per household. A credit also being offered to eligible small businesses.
ELIGIBILITY: Must be a residential account holder as of March 31, 2020, unable to work and eligible for EI/CERB/BC emergency benefit.
HOW TO APPLY: Applications to open week of April 6.
OTHER NOTES: BC Hydro also offers a Customer Crisis Fund. Anyone can apply for an up to $600 grant if their account is overdue, as long as their don’t owe more than $1,000 and have at least paid some amount toward the account. The application form is here. BC Hydro is also offering no penalty installment plan payments. Bill deferrals and payment plans are also available for eligible customers.
WHAT: If you’re a residential customer in the program, you will have your bills automatically deferred, from April 1 to June 30, 2020. Customers in the program will also have access to an interest-free repayment program.
ELIGIBILITY: Residential customers who have lost employment, livelihood or are being forced to take a voluntary leave due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
HOW TO APPLY: You can apply for support through this program anytime between April 1 and June 30, 2020. Apply online or call 1.888.292.4104 (natural gas) and 1.888.292.4105 (electricity) Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm.
WHAT: Up to $500 a month, for up to three months, paid directly to landlords.
ELIGIBILITY: Tenants with low to moderate incomes who have experienced an income loss or reduction, and do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs. Tenants must be spending in excess of 30% of gross income on housing.
HOW TO APPLY: Apply via BC Housing.
OTHER NOTES: Tenants must apply for the supplement, not landlords. The supplement will be paid directly to landlords.
WHAT: One-time GST credit of about $400 for an individual or about $600 for couples.
ELIGIBILITY: Canadian residents who are at least 19 years old OR you have or had a spouse or common-law partner OR you are or were a parent and live or lived with your child. You must have filed a 2018 tax return, as the amount is calculated based on your 2018 return.
HOW TO APPLY: Benefit is paid out automatically according to your income tax return.
WHAT: One-time boost to the climate action tax credit of about $218 for an individual adult and $64 for an individual child, for low to moderate income families. To be paid out in July 2020.
ELIGIBILITY: Canadian residents who are at least 19 years old OR you have or had a spouse or common-law partner OR you are or were a parent and live or lived with your child; you are considered low to moderate income and fall below the net income threshold. You must have filed a 2019 tax return, as the amount is calculated based on your 2019 return.
HOW TO APPLY: The Canada Revenue Agency will determine eligibility and advise if you’re eligible for the payment, based on your 2019 tax return.
WHAT: Up to an extra $300 per child through the federal Canada Child Benefit for 2019-2020. Paid out as part of the scheduled CCB payment for May 2020.
ELIGIBILITY: Must live with a child who is under 18 years old, be the primary caregiver for child, are a resident of Canada, you or your spouse must be a Canadian citizens OR permanent resident OR a protected person OR a temporary resident who has lived here for 18 moths OR an indigenous person.
HOW TO APPLY: If you are already receiving the CCB, you do not need to re-apply.