Coronavirus Canada Updates: B.C.’s government site struggles with volume of COVID-19 benefit applications

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: New Brunswick reports 16 new cases of COVID-19 as Edmundston outbreak continues
Coronavirus Canada Updates: New Brunswick reports 16 new cases of COVID-19 as Edmundston outbreak continues

The B.C. government began accepting applications for its new COVID-19 benefit on Friday, but the launch didn’t go entirely as planned.

“The B.C. Recovery Benefit application page went live at 8:30 a.m. this morning,” said the the province in a tweet.

“It’s experiencing extremely high volume. We ask that everyone please be patient, we are aware that some are having difficulty and we are working on the issue.”

Many frustrated applicants complained the website is crashing at numerous points through the process.

“I did spend probably 40 minutes just trying to complete it,” said Chelsea Burton.

Burton said after finally reaching the end of the process, her session timed out and she was asked to start again.

“After screaming in my condo a couple of times I decided I would wake up my neighbours who are still asleep,” she said.

Others also tweeted their feedback with some deciding to give and try again later.

“I’ve been trying for almost 90 minutes,” said one user.

The benefit was announced earlier this month, and was one of the NDP’s key campaign promises in B.C.’s fall election.

The amount an individual or family will receive is based on their income.

Families, including single parents with children, who earn less than $125,000 annually qualify for a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000. Families earning less than $175,000 qualify for a reduced benefit.

For individuals, anyone earning less than $62,500 a year qualifies for a one-time, tax-free $500 payment. Those who earn less than $87,000 qualify for a reduced amount.

While applications opened Friday, they’ll be available until June 30, 2021.

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