Funding, Savings, & Benefits

Financial support in your community. Check each category for more opportunities.

Resources

Affordable Childcare Benefit

A monthly payment to help families with childcare costs. You can get help applying at childcare service centres, immigrant settlement service agencies, or Service BC locations.       

 

Access 2 Entertainment Card

This card grants free or significantly discounted attendance for a support worker at hundreds of recreational, entertainment, and cultural venues throughout Canada

Adult Upgrading Grant 

Helps parents in school with costs related to unsubsidized childcare and more. It also provides tuition for adult special education programs.

Agreements with Young Adults

If you’ve been in foster care or had a Youth Agreement, you may qualify for this program to help cover a range of costs while you go back to school, or attend rehabilitation, vocational or approved life skills program

Allowance for the Survivor

A monthly allowance for low-income people ages 60-64 whose spouse has died

 

Athletics for Kids 

Provides low-income families with funding so their children can play sports 

BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program

Provides farmers' market coupons to lower-income families and seniors participating in food literacy programs. Coupons can be spent at all BC farmers' markets that participate in the program to purchase fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, nuts, fish, and meat.

A full list of these organizations is available here

BC Training and Education Savings Grant

Families are encouraged to start planning and saving early for their children’s postsecondary education or training. To help, the BC Government will contribute $1,200 to eligible children through this grant.

Better Together – Paws Of Hope

Helps with the costs of pet food, supplies, and veterinary care

Canada Child Benefit

A tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age

Canada Workers Benefit

A refundable tax credit providing tax relief for eligible low-income individuals and families who are in the workforce. Includes a disability supplement for individuals who are approved for the Disability Tax Credit. 

Charlie's Pet Food Bank

Provides free and low-cost pet services for people who are homeless, living outdoors, low-income and senior pet guardians in downtown Vancouver.

 

CKNW Kids’ Fund 

Helps families with children in need, as well as children’s organizations who provide beneficial programs. Funding is considered for a wide range of equipment and therapy.

CNIB Phone It Forward

Blind or partially sighted persons who register with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind can receive a free Smartphone through the Phone It Forward program

Coupons BC

A directory of coupons in your area

 

Crime Victim Assistance Program

Supports persons across BC who have received an injury due to criminal activity. Funding is provided for income support, disability aids, prescription drugs, counselling, and more.

Disability Tax Credit

A non-refundable tax credit helping disabled persons or attendants reduce income tax payments. Being eligible for the DTC can open doors to programs like the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Canada Workers Benefit, and the Child Disability Benefit.

Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal

Hears appeals of ministry decisions denying social assistance, disability assistance, and child care subsidy. You have 7 days to appeal a denial.

First Nations Health Authority Health Benefits Team

Provide guidance and information about benefits available under the First Nations Health Authority

Food Banks BC

Low-income persons may qualify to receive no cost food from a local food bank. Find one near you.

Free Beds

WRAGS offers free beds to people in need

Free and Low-cost Resources in Vancouver

Food, clothing, and more

 

Future Bright

A free program that helps you access up to $3,200 for your child’s education

 

Health Equipment Loan Program

Supports persons who have received an injury due to criminal activity. Funding is provided for income support, disability aids, prescription drugs, counselling, and more.

Helping Families in Need Society

Distributes free household items to people in need

Income Assistance

Apply for and learn more about income assistance in BC

Interim Federal Health Program 

Covers certain pre-departure medical services for refugees coming to Canada for resettlement. This coverage includes assistive devices, medical supplies, and equipment, such as mobility aids, orthopedic and prosthetic equipment, and hearing aids. 

Jumpstart 

Helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation. Provides individual child grants, para-sports grants, community grants, and access grants.

KidSport 

Provides financial assistance for fees and equipment to kids aged 18 and under

Kinsmen Equipment Grants 

Kinsmen fund assistive equipment, and will consider even the most obscure devices if they will assist an individual in their quality of life, personal mobility, and independence

Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC and the Yukon

Grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions

Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Assistance

Offers income assistance, disability assistance, hardship assistance, and more to eligible persons

Public Guardian and Trustee Educational Assistance Fund

Funding to help people who have been in foster care pay for expenses to further their studies

 

Public Pensions

A list of federal government pensions you may be eligible for

Tax Clinics 

People with a modest income and a simple tax situation can get their taxes prepared for free. Volunteer tax preparation clinics can be held at any time during the year, however, most clinics are offered in March and April. Some examples of clinics are listed below.

  • Circle of Eagle Lodge Society

  • First United Community Ministry 

  • Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre

    • 1607 Hastings St, Vancouver, BC, V5L 1S7

    • 604-251-4844

    • info@vafcs.org

 

Thrift Store Directory

Low-cost clothing in Vancouver

 

Vancouver Rent Bank

The rent bank can offer a short term, no interest loan to families and individuals that live in the City of Vancouver who are at risk of eviction or essential utility disconnection due to a temporary shortage of funds. Rent bank loans can also be used for a security deposit if current housing is deemed unsafe or unsustainable. 

Variety – The Children’s Charity

Provides funding for persons with special needs 19 years and younger. Considerations of funding for adaptive equipment, specialized therapies, travel costs, tuition, and more.

Young Parent Program

Parents under the age of 25 can qualify for help with childcare while they finish high school, including up to $1,500 per month per child to help cover the cost of childcare, as well as a space for their child in a care program at or near the school they are attending. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who can help me apply for funding?

  • Many community organizations provide help with applying for funding and benefits. If you have access to the internet, a good resource to use is PovNet’s Find An Advocate tool, which can help you find support nearby.

  • If you’re applying for disability assistance, contact Disability Alliance BC at 604-872-1278 or advocacy@disabilityalliancebc.org. You can also call the Disability Planning Helpline for guidance at 1-844-311-7526.

 

What other funding is out there?

  • Many opportunities aren’t advertised. If you’re looking to save money or get extra financial support, try asking within an organization or business about whether any other discounts or funding opportunities are available.

 

I applied for funding but was rejected

  • Getting funding’s a game of patience and persistence. It often takes multiple attempts to be successful, so cast applications widely, reapply, and don’t be discouraged.

 

  • RISE Women’s Legal Centre provides free legal services to low-income women dealing with family law issues such as divorce, custody, protection orders, child support, and spousal support. Call them at 604-451-7447.

I wasn’t paid all my government benefits

  • Your first step should be to contact the ministry responsible for providing your benefits

 

  • BC’s Ombudsperson can also investigate why someone’s not getting benefits they believe they are entitled to, or why they may be experiencing lengthy delays in receiving a public service. Contact their office at 1-800-567-3247.