Do you qualify for the province's emergency income benefit?
One-time benefit of $900 available for New Brunswickers who have lost their jobs during COVID-19
Those who have lost their jobs because of layoffs and closures related to COVID-19 and are having a hard time paying their bills could receive help from the province as early as this week.
The emergency income benefit will provide a one-time income supplement of $900 for workers or small business owners who lost their income on March 15 or after.
Although Premier Blaine Higgs said last week that the application process was already underway, the government said Sunday that it in fact it opens Monday at noon on the GNB website,
Higgs has said it may be possible for money to be available and deposited into bank accounts as soon as this Thursday.
"We are facing a situation unlike anything we have ever experienced," he said in a news release. "We believe this one-time benefit will help workers and self-employed people with their immediate needs and will keep us on a trajectory that will bring prosperity back to New Brunswick."
The funding is meant to bridge the gap until a federal emergency response benefit kicks in sometime in April.
Green Party Leader David Coon, a member of the all-party COVID-19 committee, said many people will apply for the bridging support, as the number of New Brunswickers who are out of work is estimated at more than 30,000.
"That may be an underestimate for sure. It doesn't count the people who are self-employed and have no income coming in, so it's going to be large numbers, there's no question about it."
Who can apply?
The provincial benefit applies to wage earners, contract and freelance workers, and small business owners who have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
These are the seven criteria to be eligible for the provincial benefit:
You have lost your job or been laid off because of the state of emergency, or you are self-employed and have lost all streams of revenue because of the state of emergency.
You have earned a minimum of $5,000 in the past 12 months.
You have lost your primary source of income.
You have or are planning to apply for support from the federal government, either through EI or the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
You have no other source of income.
You are 18 years of age or older.
All requirements must be met to qualify for the lump-sum $900. The benefit will end on April 30.
Those who are currently getting other forms of supplemental assistance such as employment insurance because of a job loss unrelated to COVID-19, social assistance, Old Age Security, or a pension, will not qualify for the benefit.
Those receiving any sort of income or benefit, such as a salary, sick leave, or workers compensation, also will not qualify.
People in jail are not eligible either.