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Thousands apply for B.C.'s $1,000 tax-worker benefit in first minutes available

BY , May 1, 2020 6:14 PM - REPORT AN ERROR

BC Minister of Finance Carole James speaks with media. The Canadian Press

Finance Minister Carole James says thousands of people applied for British Columbia's $1,000 tax-free emergency benefit in the first minutes of the program going online today.

She says more than 16,000 people registered to receive the one-time B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers in the first 45 minutes.

James says the program is part of the province's $5 billion plan to help people, businesses and organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also available to people in B.C. who are receiving the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit of $2,000 a month.

To get the B.C. benefit, people must have been a resident of the province on March 15, be eligible and approved to receive the federal benefit, be at least 15 years old on the application date, and have filed or agreed to file a 2019 tax return.

James says people receiving provincial income or disability assistance are not eligible for the benefit.

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