As backlog of COVID recovery benefit payments continues, NDP cut Income and Disability Assistance in half

FORT ST. JOHN (January 20, 2021) – As hundreds of thousands of British Columbians wait for their BC Recovery Benefit cheques promised to them by Christmas, today marks the first day that persons with disabilities will see their COVID Income and Disability payments cut in half by John Horgan and the NDP.

“Despite John Horgan’s insistence that persons with disabilities would not see cuts to the vital supports they depend on, the grim reality of this poorly-planned benefit is now coming to the surface,” said Opposition Critic for Social Development and Poverty Reduction Dan Davies. “Today — on the first day that thousands of individuals and families will see their income assistance cheques cut in half — these backlogs are going to affect the most vulnerable members of our communities the hardest.”

While the NDP insisted that BC Recovery Benefit cheques would arrive by Christmas and make up for the cuts in disability and income assistance, new figures from the Ministry of Finance reveal that the applications of only 1.5 million of the 3.7 million eligible British Columbians have been approved. Of the 490,000 applications currently flagged for review, only 13 per cent have been approved as of mid-January.

“With hundreds of thousands or even millions of applications still being processed, it could be weeks or even months until persons with disabilities will see this one-time cheque,” concluded Davies. “It is time for John Horgan to admit he made a mistake and fully reinstate the $300 monthly COVID Disability and Income Assistance supplement his NDP government took away from vulnerable people.”

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