VANCOUVER -- British Columbians eager to receive the latest COVID-19 benefit offered by the province can apply starting today.

Earlier this month, the provincial government tabled legislation to provide the benefit, which was one of the NDP's campaign promises in the B.C. election. Families can get up to $1,000, while individuals can get up to $500.

To get the benefit, British Columbians need to apply. For now, applications are only available online, but for those looking to apply by phone, that option will be available starting on Monday.  

How much can I get?

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.

What do I need to apply?

Applicants must be residing in B.C. as of Dec. 18, be at least 19 years old, have filed a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return and have a valid social insurance number, individual tax number or temporary tax number. 

When filling out the application, the finance ministry says residents need to be prepared to state their net income from their 2019 tax return, found on Line 23600. Applicants will also need their social insurance number and driver's licence number, if applicable. 

Direct deposit information is also required, as that's the only way the benefit is being issued. 

While applications opened on Dec. 18, they're available until June 30, 2021. 

When will I receive my money?

When the benefit was announced on Dec. 8, Finance Minister Selina Robinson said people should expect to see a direct deposit "within a number of days of their application."

That means many residents could see a payment before Christmas. 

"We expect hundreds of thousands of British Columbians to have their benefit deposited directly into their bank accounts before the end of this year," Robinson said.