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Surge in website applications slows process for B.C. COVID-19 benefit

VICTORIA — A high volume of online applications for the British Columbia COVID-19 recovery benefit has slowed the process. Some users have reported getting an error on the site when making their application for the benefit of up to $1,000.

VICTORIA — A high volume of online applications for the British Columbia COVID-19 recovery benefit has slowed the process. 

Some users have reported getting an error on the site when making their application for the benefit of up to $1,000.

A Finance Ministry spokeswoman says there were about 2,500 applications in the first few minutes of the site opening on Friday, but the page hasn't crashed and those applying are being urged to be patient. 

Finance Minister Selina Robinson has asked the public to be respectful to staff at a Service BC call centre as they help people apply for the benefit, which was promised by the NDP during the election campaign.

Families, including single parents, with an annual income under $125,000 last year can expect to receive $1,000 while those earning up to $175,000 qualify for a reduced amount. 

Single people earning an income under $62,500 have been promised $500 and those who earned up to $87,500 qualify for less than that.

An estimated 90 per cent of adults in the province are eligible for the benefit, and applications will be accepted until June.

Applicants for the benefit must be at least 19 years old by Dec. 18 unless they are the primary caregiver of a child or living with a spouse.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 18, 2020.

The Canadian Press