Langley, the cheque is in the mail

The $520 cheques to parents from the B.C. government have started hitting mailboxes.

Families that registered for the Temporary Education Support Payment (TESP) program can expect to receive their cheques in the mail shortly.

Nearly 230,000 families have submitted registration forms representing close to 295,000 students. So far, an estimated 97 per cent of eligible families have registered.

“We recognize that the labour disruption at the beginning of the school year imposed costs on families,” said B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong. “Our intention with the temporary education support payment was to provide a modest degree of support for parents who incurred most of those costs. As promised, families can expect to receive payment over the coming days.”

Since Oct. 20, approximately 165,000 cheques have been processed and mailed out.

The majority of TESP payments should be sent out by the end of October and received by families in the next two weeks.

Some cheques won’t be mailed out until late November. The province needs some time to confirm school districts for some kindergarten students and those new to B.C. public schools.

Only parents of kids 12 and under are eligible for the $40 per day and the $520 is the total for the days missed at the start of the 2014/15 school year. The time missed in the last school year is not included.

Didn’t register? There’s still time. Parents have until Jan. 31, 2015, to register. No new registrations will be accepted after this date. To register online go to bcparentinfo.ca where they can also learn more about the payments.

Parents and primary caregivers are eligible to apply. Primary caregivers can include step-parents, legal guardians, foster parents, host parents for international students, caregivers with temporary custody arrangements, and family members who normally care for the student, such as grandparents.

Parents and primary caregivers will need to provide the name, address, date of birth, school district number and school for each eligible student.

According to the finance minister, the payment is not taxable and will not affect provincial and federal tax credits and benefits such as the new B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit, B.C. Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit, Sales Tax Credit or the federal Canada Child Tax Benefit or GST credit.

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