What is COVID-19?
On March 11th the World Health Organization declared a pandemic for the Corona Virus (COVID-19). On March 17th the Province of BC declared a state of emergency for COVID-19 and requested all of us to practice social distance and remain in isolation. As of April 1, Canada has 9,005 cases of COVID-19 and 105 people have died. In BC we have 1,013 cases and 24 deaths. Worldwide there are 823,626 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 40,598 deaths in 206 countries.
The only way we can slow the spread of this virus is to STAY HOME. We know this will be hard for some of you but PLEASE continue to practice social isolation and distance so we can all get back to our normal lives sooner! If you do go out for groceries or a walk, please keep your hands away from your face and wash and disinfect your hands and clothes often – including your door handles!
AgedOut.com has assembled the following resources for you – this page is way longer than our usual format as we want you to have everything available at your fingertips when you need it. Also, stay connected to our Facebook page as we continue to share resources on a daily basis.
Think you have symptoms or need medical support?
COVID-19 self assessment tool.
Well Health virtual clinic - you will need a BC Health Card.
Telus - Babylon Health App.
Concerns about aging out during COVID-19?
A message from MCFD:
Youth in care will not age out of services during the COVID-19 pandemic and those who have recently aged out will get extra assistance.
Social workers are modifying agreements to allow youth and caregivers to extend their current living arrangements once a youth reaches 19 years old so you can age out safely and stay where you are. Social workers across the province will contact you.
Will covid-19 affect my AYA agreement?
Young adults between the ages of 19 and 27 who are currently on Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) will continue to receive financial support. You may also be eligible to receive an extension beyond the current 48 months max. MCFD will also reach out to young adults who have recently aged out to provide additional support as required.
*NEW* Temporary Life Skills Program
MCFD temporary Life Skills Programs for those currently on AYA or who choose to age out on AYA between April 1 and June 30, 2020:
MCFD has relaxed the requirements to a minimum of 5 hours per week of online programs (down from 12). MCFD has also relaxed and added many options for young people to meet the 5 hour requirement, hence the temporary life skills programs. The Temporary Life Skills Program is available for any young adult who applies and is eligible for AYA. All emergency measures have been approved until June 30, 2020. Youth need to apply for the AYA before June 30th and will be able to complete a full 12 week cycle.
Check out our AYA info page for more details on MCFD’s COVID-19 Temporary life skills Program.
Ways to stay connected
The Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks - Fed Connects!
Events will take place via Facebook on the Fed Connects group. *search ''Fed Connects' on Facebook and request to join*
Freeze on rent increases and evictions: No rent increases and no evictions for non-payment of rent in BC, effective April, 1st 2020.
BC-Temporary Rental Supplement Program. This supplement will provide up to $500 to assist low and moderate income renters who are struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19. *The application process will be available mid April*
Where can I find mental health support?
Psychological support service - Free mental health support via phone call
Foundry BC - Offers virtual drop in counselling sessions through chat, phone calls, or video calls. To access this service, call 1-833-F0UNDRY (yes, that's F0undry with a zero! or 1-833-308-6379) to book an appointment. Click here for up to date hours of operation and services offered.
BC COVID-19 Mental Health Network: A group of mental health professionals are offering free, short term, one on one counselling to those struggling with COVID-19 related impacts. To inquire about an appointment please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact info and general availability.
KUU-US crisis line. Available 24/7 to provide support to Indigenous people in BC.
Fact sheet on anxiety and COVID-19.
Here to talk. Available to post secondary students 24/7.
Online stress management program by Shoppers Drug Mart and SilverClould Health
What financial support is available to me?
Federal government Employment Insurance (EI) *Self-employed people can now apply for these benefits as well*
Laid off due to work closure? Apply for regular EI.
Unable to work due to quarantine or sickness? Apply for Employment insurance (EI) Sickness benefit.
Laid off/unable to work and ineligible for EI?
Canada Emergency Response Benefit. *Applications now open*
This is a taxable benefit and tax will not be deducted from your payments. Put some aside to pay the taxes next year.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit: *Applications now open*
Students and recent graduates who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit can apply for this benefit. This benefit would provide $1200 per month for eligible students or $1750 per month for eligible students with dependants or disabilities. Available May 2020 - August 2020.
B.C Emergency Benefit for workers: *Click here for application*
A one-time $1000 payment to people whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
B.C residents who recieve EI or the New Canada Emergency benefit are eligible
Income assistance and PWD recipients:
You will recieve a $300 crisis supplement on your cheques issued in April, May and June. *you don't need to apply, this is automatic*
If you recieve EI or the new Canada Emergency Benefit you will not recieve the $300 but your income from these benefits (EI and Canada Emergency Benefit) are exempt. This means that it will not affect your monthly payments.
Childrens Aid Foundation Youth Support Fund:
*This fund is currently on hold due to a large number of applicants, they have increased fundraising efforts in hopes to expand the program to more young people*
Click here to be notified when the fund reopens
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada has grants of up to $1000 available for youth aged 18 - 29. Intended to cover short-term needs. Funds can be used to cover expenses such as: rent, food, household supplies, mental health supports, technology support, and other emergency needs. Click here to apply
Child tax benefit increase:
If you receive Child tax benefits you will receive an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20.
*This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May*
GST Credit increase:
There will be a one-time payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income individuals. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 per person. *you don’t need to apply for this, if you filed your 2018 taxes and are eligible you will get it automatically*
Student loan repayments: Effective March 30 student loan repayment will be suspended until September 30th, 2020. Interest will not be charged, and you do not need to apply.
Fortis BC: Customer Recovery Fund
ICBC: ICBC autoplan customers on a monthly payment plan may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.
Telus: Home internet overage charges are waived until April, 30th and flexable payment plans are being offered.
Representative for Children and Youth (RCY) update
RCY staff have transitioned to work remotely and their advocates are available and ready to help despite the current unique challenges. If you need support from the RCY call 1-800-476-3933.
They also invite community agencies and service providers to apprise us of any issues and concerns with service delivery and the impact on children, youth, families and young adults who are vulnerable. This will assist them in doing their work with government ministries and public bodies to raise systemic issues. Please send your comments/concerns via email to COVID19@rcybc.ca.