The BC Income Assistance program is one of the government benefits of British Columbia that seeks to help those looking to meet basic needs.
Whether you’re a job seeker, a low-income earner, a disabled person or someone in an emergency, you can count on the BC Income Assistance program for relief.
But like other government benefits, the BC Income Assistance program is administered only to eligible residents of British Columbia. The payment amount also varies from one recipient to the other.
In this article, we will go through the BC Income Assistance dates for 2022 and the maximum benefit amounts. You will also learn about other related government benefits in BC.
Table of Contents
BC Income Assistance Dates 2022
The BC Income Assistance payment dates are administered on the 3rd or 4th Wednesday of each month. This explains why the payment day is commonly referred to as “Welfare Wednesday”.
The following are the BC Income Assistance payment dates for 2022:
|January 19, 2022
|February 16, 2022
|March 23, 2022
|April 27, 2022
|May 25, 2022
|June 22, 2022
|July 20, 2022
|August 24, 2022
|September 21, 2022
|October 26, 2022
|November 23, 2022
|December 21, 2022
As you can see, the BC Income Assistance payment of a given month is administered in the previous month.
That’s, the payment for January 2021 was administered in December 2022. Similarly, the payment for January 2023 will be administered in December 2022.
How fast you receive the BC Income Assistance payment depends on the funding method you choose. You can receive the payment through direct deposit or cheque.
With direct deposit, you will receive the BC Income Assistance payment faster and directly in your bank account. Click here to set up direct deposit.
The following section covers how you can receive income assistance payments through cheques.
BC Income Assistance Cheque Dates
The BC Income Assistance cheque dates are the same as the direct deposit dates. The only difference is that direct deposit payments often arrive faster than cheque payments.
Notwithstanding, you can receive your income assistance payment through cheque by having it mailed to your address or local government office.
The cheque delivery will take up to a few days to arrive starting from the income assistance payment date.
What is BC Income Assistance?
BC Income Assistance is a provincial assistance program of British Columbia administered to those looking to meet basic needs.
The program includes financial assistance, health support, employment and other relevant support.
BC Income Assistance targets those who are unable to meet their basic needs while looking for a job. Those that are incapacitated, have low income or are in an emergency can also benefit from the program.
How much you get from the BC Income Assistance program depends on your situation and family size. More on this shortly.
If you don’t have someone to rely on while in a difficult financial situation, the BC Income Assistance program is one of the government benefits you can count on.
BC Income Assistance Benefits
The BC Income Assistance not only provides financial support but health, employment and other benefits. The following is a brief overview of the BC Income Assistance benefits:
1. Financial Support
The BC Income Assistance monthly payment provides financial support and shelter allowance. The amount of financial support and shelter allowance you get depends on your situation and family size.
For the current payment schedule, the following are the maximum financial support per family size:
|Eligible spouses with no children
|Eligible spouses with one child
|A single parent with one child
In the subsequent part of this article, I have discussed in detail the maximum financial support and shelter allowance you can get.
2. Employment Support
The BC Income Assistance also offers employment support to those that can work.
Employable persons are asked to fill out an employment plan which is designed by an Employment Assistance worker.
By filling out the plan, you will get customized assistance in finding a job that suits your skill set. You can also get free assistance from WorkBC on job search and job training.
Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for supplementary benefits under the BC Income Assistance program. The supplements are categorized into general supplements and health supplements as shown below:
-Funeral costs-Lost or stolen cheque
-Co-operative housing share purchase
-Family maintenance-Family bonus
-Identification (ID) fees
-Guide dog and service dog
-Moving, transportation, and living costs
-Utility security deposit
|-Alternative hearing assistance
-Alcohol and drug residential treatment
-Extended medical therapies
-Orthotics and bracing
-Medical supplies, equipment and devices
The eligibility of each of the above supplements varies. You can contact a BC representative to inquire about the supplements you qualify for.
BC Income Assistance Eligibility
To qualify for the BC Income Assistance benefits, you must be a BC resident and meet any of the following eligibility:
- Have insufficient income to meet your basic meets
- Be out of work
- Anticipate other income streams
- Be incapacitated to work
- You’re in urgent need of food, shelter or medical service
In addition to the above eligibility, you must also exhaust all other options for getting income and assets to qualify for income assistance.
How Much Income Assistance Benefit Can You Receive?
As noted earlier, the amount of benefit you will get under the BC Income Assistance program depends on your situation and family size.
Your situation refers to your marital status, age and health status. On the other hand, your family size refers to the number of parents and dependent children in your family.
In what follows, we’re going to look at the maximum Income Assistance benefits you will get on financial support and shelter allowance.
Financial Assistance and Shelter Allowance For Under-65-Year Employable Singles, Couples, and Two-Parent Families
|Financial Support Rate
Financial Assistance and Shelter Allowance For Under-65-Year Singles, Couples, and Two-Parent Families that Meet the Eligibility for Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB)
|Financial Support Rate
Financial Assistance and Shelter Allowance For Singles, Couples, and Two-Parent Families With One 65-year or Older Adult
|Financial Support Rate
It’s worth noting that the financial support is the same for family unit size three to seven. But the shelter allowance varies per family unit.
Click here to learn more about the Income Assistance amounts.
Once your application is approved, you will be informed about your entitled benefit amount. The amount may change on each income assistance payment date depending on your income streams.
Can I Work While on Income Assistance?
Sure! You can work while on the Income Assistance program. As noted earlier, looking for a job is one of the eligibility for the BC Income Assistance program.
If you’re employable, you will get all the necessary support you need to get a job while on the Income Assistance program.
By working while receiving the Income Assistance benefit, you will maximize your income more than you would by sticking with the monthly Income Assistance payment.
However, how much you earn from your job and your other income streams will determine your continued eligibility and entitled benefit amount on the Income Assistance program.
In what follows, we’re going to look at employable income exemptions on the BC Income Assistance program.
BC Income Assistance Payment Exemptions
The exemption amount refers to the amount you are allowed to earn while receiving the Income Assistance payment.
If you earn more than the monthly income exemption, your Income Assistance payment will be decreased by the exceeded amount of your exempted income.
The following are the exempted monthly amounts per different family unit and compositions:
|Monthly Earning Exemption
|Family Unit and Composition
|All family units with a dependent or supported child
|All family units with a dependent child with a severe disability
|A family unit with a minimum of one Person with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB)
|Every other person in a family unit that’s eligible for the BC Income Assistance
To be eligible for the income exemption, you must receive the Income Assistance payment at least once in the previous six months. Else, you must wait for one month to be eligible for the earned income exemption. Learn more here.
BC Income Assistance Increase 2022
Since the precious increase in April 2021, there has not been another BC Income Assistance increase.
The last adjustment led to an increase of $175 per month for all eligible adults under the BC Income Assistance program.
Despite the increase of cost living in the country, the Income Assistance payment has not been adjusted in 2022.
But with inflation hitting the roof, we expect the BC income assistance to increase as we saw recently on the Climate Action Tax Credit and BC Family Benefit.
You can sign-up for our newsletter to stay updated on subsequent BC Income Assistance increases.
How to Apply for BC Income Assistance Benefits
The application process for the BC Income Assistance program is straightforward. But before you initiate the application, you should have the following information and documents ready:
- Personal and family identification
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Your bank statement
- Rent and utility costs
- Car loan balance (if applicable)
If you have the following information and documents ready, you can go ahead to apply for the BC Income Assistance online, by phone or in person.
- Online: Apply through your My Self Serve account or create a new account if you don’t have one.
- Phone: Call 1-866-866-0800 (toll-free) during regular business hours to apply by phone.
- In-person: Visit the nearest income assistance office or visit the Service BC office if you live in a smaller community that doesn’t have an income assistance office.
Note: If you’re applying by phone or in person, you should do so within regular business hours. That’s, 9 am to 4 pm (Pacific time) from Monday to Friday (excluding 12 pm to 1 pm). No one will attend to you on Easter Mondays, Boxing Days and statutory holidays.
What Next After Applying For BC Income Assistance Program?
Once you apply for the BC Income Assistance and are approved, you will start receiving the monthly payment that applies to you.
That said, you will be required to actively look for a job if you can work. You’re to report your job search each month through your My Self Serve account.
However, you will be required to enroll in an eligibility assessment (over the phone or in person) if you couldn’t get a job after a work search. By so doing, a worker will:
- Determine your eligibility for income assistance
- Verify the information you provided
- Assess your readiness for work
- Ask for a copy of your tenancy agreement if you rent or ask you to fill out the Shelter Information form (PDF)
- Employment plan with you
Once the worker deemed you eligible, you will start receiving the Income Assistance monthly payment.
But if you’re not satisfied with your assessment for the BC Income Assistance, you can express your concern to a worker. If the worker didn’t resolve the problem and you still believe in your eligibility, you can request a reconsideration.
- Work Search Exemption
You may be exempted from searching for a job under the BC Assistance program if you can’t legally work in Canada or you are:
- 65 years of age or older
- A single parent with under-3-year dependent child
- Fleeing an abusive spouse or relative
- Incapacitated to look for work due to a mental or physical condition
- A person with disabilities (PWD) or anyone in your immediate family
Having no money to meet even basic needs could be the biggest tragedy you will face in life, especially if you don’t have an emergency fund in place.
But that’s not the end of the world. So long you’re alive, you have the opportunity to earn even better than what you had in the past.
The BC Income Assistance program could help regain your feet faster than expected with financial support, employment support and health support that applies to you.
Hopefully, now you know what the program entails and how to claim your entitled support. If you need more clarification, kindly hit me up in the comment section or contact our team at [email protected].
If you’re employable, ensure that you are actively looking for a job while receiving BC Income Assistance. That way, you will maximize your income and easily become more independent than you would with the monthly BC Income Assistance payment.
To maximize your income in these trying times, you should consider claiming other government benefits that you may be eligible for. This includes:
- BC Affordability child care benefit
- B.C. Sales Tax Credit
- Canada Child Benefit
- National Child Benefit
- GST/HST Credit
- Healthy Kids Program
- Climate Action Tax Credit
- Medical Services Only
- Rental Assistance Program (RAP)
- Transitional Health Services
- Working Income Tax Benefit
FAQs on BC Income Assistance Dates
How much is welfare in BC for a single person?
The amount of BC Income Assistance (welfare amount) for a single person depends on their employability, age and health status as shown below:
- $935 for employable singles under the age of 65
- $1,280 for a single parent with one child
- $985 for single Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB)
What day is welfare in BC?
Welfare day or Welfare Wednesday in BC refers to Income Assistance Payment day which usually falls on the 3rd or 4th Wednesday of each month.
Is Income Assistance going up in BC?
The BC Income Assistance is not going up in BC under the 2022/2023 payment period. The last increase was made in April 2021 when the government increased the monthly payment of each recipient by $175.
Can you own a home and be on welfare in BC?
If you own a family unit’s place of residence, you will be eligible for welfare benefits in BC. Click here to learn more about other exempted assets on the BC welfare eligibility.