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$1,000 cheque coming to British Columbians out of work due to coronavirus

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WATCH: B.C. announces details of $5B coronavirus stimulus package – Mar 23, 2020

British Columbia will be mailing out $1,000 cheques to residents who are out of work due to the novel coronavirus.

Finance Minister Carole James said Monday that British Columbians should be able to apply for the one-time, tax-free benefit by May.

READ MORE: Here are the coronavirus financial supports available for British Columbians

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will go people who are either eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) or for the federal government’s Emergency Care or Emergency Support benefits.

“[It] will support EI-eligible workers as well as those who may not qualify for EI,” said Premier John Horgan Monday.

“Including non-EI eligible workers who become laid off, non-EI eligible workers who are sick or quarantined, including those who are self-employed, non-EI eligible workers who are taking care of a family member who is sick … and also parents whose children require care or supervision because of child care or school closures and are unable to earn Employment Insurance whether they qualify for Employment Insurance or not.”

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The province is also boosting carbon tax refunds through the existing B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit.

READ MORE: B.C. announces $5B coronavirus aid package for individuals, businesses

The credit is geared towards lower-income British Columbians, but the province says 86 per cent of people will see “some” extra money from the credit increase.

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B.C.’s provincial health officer on enforcing social-distance rules and keeping essential services going – Mar 23, 2020

The province says the maximum credit will double this year, with an eligible family of four getting up to $564 and and eligible individual getting up to $218 in an enhanced payment.

The B.C. supports are in addition to the Emergency Care and Emergency Support benefits announced by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: B.C. reports 3 new deaths, 100 people now recovered

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The federal Emergency Care Benefit will provide bi-weekly $900 payments for 15 weeks to workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick, supporting family members or supervising kids affected by school closures.

The Emergency Support Benefit is meant to provide longer-term support for people who are out of work but don’t qualify for EI. The federal government has put aside $5 billion, but provided few details about what the program will look like.