British Columbia

B.C. Employment and Assistance Program

Easy application

Tax filing not required

If you are in need of financial assistance, but not eligible for other income supports, the BC Employment and Assistance (BCEA) program may be able to help. Eligibility for the BC Employment and Assistance depends on your: Living Arrangements, Family Composition, Income, Assets and Employment.

You may be eligible if:

  • You’re out of work or not earning enough to meet your basic needs.
  • You’re waiting for other sources of money to arrive.
  • You can't work at all.
  • You urgently need food, shelter or medical attention.

Proof of legal status

A document showing citizenship or immigration status in Canada. For example:

  • citizenship certificate
  • confirmation document
  • record of landing, confirmation of permanent residence;
    • permanent resident card
    • visitor record
    • temporary resident permit
    • study permit
  • positive notice of decision
  • verification of status document
  • registration date with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • passport
  • foreign passport

Proof of residency in Canada

A document that displays your name and current home address and confirms that your primary place of residence is in the province or territory that is providing the benefit. For example:

  • Driver's license
  • Mortgage, rental or lease agreement
  • Child Tax Benefit Statement
  • Employer record (pay stub or letter from employer on company letterhead)
  • Income tax assessment (most recent)
  • Insurance policy (home, tenant, auto or life)
  • Monthly mailed bank account statements for savings or chequing accounts (does not include receipts, bank books, letters or automated teller receipts)
  • Mortgage, rental or lease agreement
  • Motor Vehicle Permit (plate or vehicle portions)
  • Property tax bill
  • School, college or university report card or transcript
  • Statement of Direct Deposit for social assistance or income assistance in your province or territory (for example, Disability Assistance, Hardship Assistance, Income Support, Assured Incoome, Social Solidarity, etc.)
  • Statement of Employment Insurance Benefits Paid T4E
  • Statement of Old Age Security T4A (OAS) or Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits T4A (P)
  • Statement of Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), or Registered Home Ownership Savings Plan (RHOSP) from a financial institution (bank, trust company, credit union)
  • Utility bill received by mail (home telephone, cable TV, public utilities commission, hydro, gas, water)
  • Valid Provincial or Territorial Driver's Licence
  • Temporary Driver's Licence (you must also show a photo license card with the same address)
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Statement of Benefits T5007
  • Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contribution
  • Valid Photo Identification

Proof of  residency in Province

For example:

  • lease agreement
  • rent receipt
  • household bill
    • gas
    • electricity
    • cable television
    • telephone
  • driver's license
  • vehicle registration or car insurance
  • membership in social or professional organization
  • Other:
    • bank information
    • employment information

Social Insurance Number

For example:

  • confirmation of SIN letter
  • plastic SIN card (non-expired)

Photo ID

For example:

  • driver’s license
  • passport
  • other government-issued photo ID, such as a non-driver photo ID (Saskatchewan), British Columbia Services Card, Ontario photo card, General identification card (Nunavut), Voluntary ID (PEI), etc.

Proof of housing situation

For example:

  • letter from landlord about your housing situation
  • eviction notice
  • disconnection notice
  • police report about an incident involving your housing
  • moving company quote or invoice
  • list of repairs needed in home
  • list of expenses for renovations needed for independence in the home
  • proof of home ownership (mortgage, property ownership)

You will need to use My Self Serve to assess your eligibility and apply for assistance from the B.C. government. If you can’t complete the application online, call 1-866-866-0800 or visit your local office.

You will need to provide details about your current situation, income and assets. Be ready to give information, such as:

  • Identification for you and your family.
  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • How much you pay for rent and utilities.
  • Your bank account balance.
  • How much you owe on your vehicle, if you have a car.

You will also be asked you if:

  • You are getting or waiting for Employment Insurance (EI) or Worker’s Compensation benefits (WCB).
  • You have any outstanding warrants.
  • A family member sponsored you into Canada.

You need to be able to show that you have explored all possible income resources for which you may be eligible. Some possible resources include: WorkSafe BC, Canada Pension Plan, Student Financial Assistance, Old Age Security, or personal assets (cash-on-hand, or items that you can sell or convert into cash).

If you fail to accept or refuse to pursue other income, or other means of support, you may be ineligible for assistance or eligible at a reduced rate.

Last updated: March 6, 2021