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B.C. provides ‘hardship assistance’ funding for displaced Ukrainian refugees

Click to play video: 'B.C. government will provide temporary  financial support for displaced Ukrainians' B.C. government will provide temporary financial support for displaced Ukrainians
B.C. Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Nicholas Simons announced at a press conference on Wednesday that Ukrainians fleeing the invasion of their country and arriving in B.C. can now apply for temporary financial support – Jun 29, 2022

Ukrainian citizens arriving in B.C. can now apply for “hardship assistance” from the province.

Under the federal Canada-Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program, arriving Ukrainians are eligible for assistance based on need: it can be as much as $935 per month for a single person; $1,770 per month for a family of four; and up to $1,358 per month for a single person with a disability.

“British Columbia is helping Ukrainians arriving in our province who are fleeing the invasion of their homeland. We expect thousands of displaced Ukrainians to arrive over the next few months, and the changes announced today will help us address their critical needs as they adjust to their new surroundings,” said Nicholas Simons, B.C. Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

“This assistance will also relieve some of the pressure that community organizations are facing as they help displaced Ukrainians find work and transition to life in our province.”

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Ukrainians who arrive under CUAET can apply for up to six months of hardship assistance after they access a one-time temporary financial support payment called the Canada-Ukraine Transitional Assistance Initiative.

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“This direct financial assistance will help displaced Ukrainians find their footing here in B.C.,” said Nathan Cullen, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs.

“Access to funding when they arrive is crucial for people fleeing war and starting fresh in a new province thousands of kilometres from home. By easing access to this support, we are also unlocking supplementary benefits that newcomers may be eligible for – including the camp supplement, school startup supplement, security deposit supplement and health supplements.”

Without federal status as refugees, displaced Ukrainians have limited access to federal and provincial support.

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The province has changed the BC Employment and Assistance Program requirements to allow Ukrainians who arrive in B.C. under the CUAET, and other people who arrive under similar circumstances, to receive temporary financial assistance as they work to settle into their new communities.

“This important step guarantees that displaced Ukrainians will have their most immediate needs addressed while they are resettling in our province,” said Natalie Jatskevich, Ukrainian Canadian Congress’s president.

More than 185 displaced Ukrainians have accessed WorkBC employment services, so far, according to the province.

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