British Columbia is extending the federal employment insurance exemptions and the provincial temporary crisis supplement.

The province says the extensions will help ensure people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors will continue to have access to the supports they need during the pandemic.

“B.C.’s response to COVID-19 has been strong and swift, but we are not out of the woods yet,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The extension of these programs will allow some breathing room for people to get back on their feet as we move through our restart plan.”

On April 2nd, B.C announced a three-month exemption of all federal employment insurance benefits, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, for people already receiving income or disability assistance at that time.

This exemption, which now includes the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (effective May 1, 2020), has been extended for the duration of the federal emergency support programs so that eligible people will continue to benefit without any reductions to their monthly income or disability assistance payments.

For those who are not eligible for the federal benefits, the province’s temporary COVID-19 crisis supplement, which has been provided since April, will be extended an additional two months as well.

This supplement will continue to be provided to low-income seniors receiving the B.C. Senior’s Supplement and income assistance and disability recipients residing in special care facilities.

For more information on supports for people on income or disability assistance visit the Government of British Columbia’s website