• FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • QUESTIONS

    IS SUPPORT ONLY AVAILABLE TO BARTENDERS?

    No. The Bartenders Benevolent Fund was initially created to support professional bartenders in Toronto, Ontario. We have since grown, at first to include all Front of House staff: bartenders, servers and support staff from across Canada, and from any kind of licensed establishment. In June 2020, we expanded to include Back of House professionals including chefs, line cooks, dish washers and bussers, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers. Applicants may qualify as long as they reside in Canada and can provide proof of their current/most recent employment and job title.

    WHO CAN APPLY TO OUR FUNDS AND PROGRAMS?

    Professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers residing in Canada, are eligible for up to a maximum of $500 from our Emergency Relief Fund, and one award each from our Mental Health Assistance, Food Insecurity and Pet Food Funds per month. Our programs may have different eligibility requirements.

    WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED TO APPLY?

    We need to confirm that you are a hospitality professional. This can be through either by a Record of Employment (ROE) or a pay stub (values may be blanked out) from your current/last place of work. Your name and address must be clearly visible on both. You do not need to be currently employed to apply, but you must have held a position within a Canadian venue with an active liquor license, for at least six months before the start of the first national lockdown, March 16th, 2020. However, there may be additional requirements depending on the program or fund.

    CAN UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS APPLY FOR BBF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE?

    We require a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from all successful applicants to the Emergency Relief Fund in order to issue a T5007 form for CRA purposes. As a result, those without a valid SIN are ineligible to apply for our Emergency Relief Fund. A SIN is not required for any of our other funds or programming including our Mental Health Assistance Fund and our Food Insecurity Fund, however, you must currently reside in Canada.

    WHO DECIDES HOW THE APPLICATIONS ARE PROCESSED?

    Applications are reviewed following a process defined by our Board of Directors centred around protecting the privacy of those applying for support, and removing barriers to application. Applications go directly to our Funding Officer who verifies details, then either removes identifying information and shares them to the appropriate Disbursement or Review Panel, or processes the qualifying applications. Our panels are comprised of current and former industry professionals.

    HOW DO YOU ENSURE MY INFORMATION REMAINS PRIVATE?

    The Bartenders Benevolent Fund and its volunteers will at all times respect the confidentiality of the Personal Information placed in its care. The Fund will endeavour to ensure that the policies affecting the collection, storage and disclosure of Personal Information reflect the confidential nature of the information. Our Privacy Policy ensures your personal details remain as such. All applications are verified and then redacted by our Funding Officer before applications are reviewed by their respective panels. The redacted information is only accessible by our Funding Officer and Executive Director. Our Privacy Policy extends to all email, social, verbal and written correspondence.

  • EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND

    WHO CAN APPLY TO THIS FUND?

    This fund is designed specifically to assist hospitality professionals residing in Canada in need. Professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers, are eligible. The Emergency Relief Fund is designed to help those who are experiencing severe difficulties in areas such as paying rent, covering medical bills or supporting dependants (child or adult). Applicants must have a valid SIN and reside in Canada.

    HOW ARE SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS JUDGED?

    Applications to our Emergency Relief Fund are graded in two parts: on an objective points system and peer reviewed by a panel of industry professionals from across Canada. This complete system takes into account factors such as your unique circumstances, other resources available in your area, past funds awarded from the BBF and the severity and urgency of your need. The score attributed to your application determines the amount of funding you are awarded, either $250 or $500.

    HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR FUNDS TO BE ISSUED?

    The entire process for the Emergency Relief Fund, from application to receiving funds can takes up to three weeks. Applications received prior to Friday at 11:59pm are processed by the Funding Officer and submitted to the Disbursement Panel for review by Sunday. The Panel grades the applications, their scores are averaged and added to the objective score and passed to our Fiscal Manager by Thursday. Successful applicants will be notified and need to provide their banking information by Saturday for payments to be issued, which may take up to 5 business days to process, depending on your bank.

    WHY DO I NEED TO PROVIDE A SIN IF I AM APPROVED?

    The short answer: We need your SIN so you don’t get taxed on this income. We are required to report all financial assistance, and to whom it was paid, to the CRA. By taking your SIN we can properly report this, and submit to you and the CRA form T5007, required for reporting on your income tax return next year. By reporting your income in this manner, this will prevent the funds being sent to you by the BBF from being taxed.

    DO I NEED TO REPORT THE FUNDING ON MY TAXES?

    Yes. We will issue a T5007 form (similar to how you would receive your T4 from a job). You will still need to declare this as income; however, it’s important to note that you won’t be taxed on this, and it is not considered earned income so will not interfere with CERB or EI payments.

    WHY DO I NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT PAST FUNDING RECEIVED?

    The Bartenders Benevolent Fund is trying to reach as many people as possible and so have introduced monthly limits to the fund. If you have already been awarded the maximum amount of $500 in a month, you will need to wait until the following month to reapply.

  • MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE FUND

    WHO CAN APPLY TO THIS FUND?

    This fund is designed to assist hospitality professionals in need of mental health support. Professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers residing in Canada, are eligible.

    HOW ARE SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS JUDGED?

    Assistance through this fund is awarded to all qualifying applicants on a first come, first serve basis. Once we have determined you qualify through the parameters provided on the funding page, your award will be issued via email.

    HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THIS AWARD TO BE ISSUED?

    This process will take a maximum of two weeks. Applications for this fund are collected every Saturday at 11:59pm EST, and the details within are checked and confirmed. Once validated, the notice of award is sent to our Executive Director who will connect you to Inkblot Therapy, who will then be in touch regarding next steps, including finding your ideal therapist and confirming your session.

    HOW IS THIS SERVICE PROVIDED?

    Our mental health support partners, Inkblot Therapy, manage your application once your place in the program is confirmed. The BBF will set up your account and you will be sent an on-boarding email. Once you are logged in, click on Find My Care Provider to complete a short assessment to help match you with an appropriate counsellor, your first 30 minutes are free to help with this process. Your next 60 minutes of counselling are sponsored by BBF. When it’s time for your session, find a quiet place that has good wifi, and start your session through the link provided via email.

    IF I AM PROVIDED A SESSION WITH A THERAPIST, CAN I CONTINUE BEYOND MY INITIAL HOUR?

    Yes. However you will be required to cover the cost for subsequent hours. Inkblot Therapy's counselling rates are half the cost of the national average at $75/hour. You will be asked to input your credit card information when booking subsequent sessions, and provided with a receipt following the session. If you have benefits coverage, you can use the receipt to be reimbursed for some or all of the cost.

    WHO DO I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS?

    Any questions regarding your application or issuing of your award should be directed to us at info@bartendersbenevolentfund.ca. Any questions regarding Inkblot Therapy’s services, therapists, scheduling, etc. should be directed to Inkblot at: support@inkblottherapy.com. More information can be found at inkblottherapy.com/bbfsupport

  • FOOD INSECURITY FUND

    WHO CAN APPLY TO THIS FUND?

    This fund is designed to assist hospitality professionals facing food insecurity. Professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers residing in Canada, are eligible.

    HOW ARE SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS JUDGED?

    Assistance through this fund is awarded to all qualifying applicants on a first come, first serve basis. Once we have determined you qualify through the parameters provided on the funding page, the voucher of your choice will be issued via email.

    WHERE CAN I USE MY FOOD VOUCHER

    While we would love to work with local resources, it was important for us to be able to provide solutions accessible to people living all across Canada. As a result, we have partnered with two companies: Walmart, which is ideal for those who are unable to visit a location, and require home delivery; and President’s Choice who have over 2,000 locations in all provinces and territories across Canada, and who are ideal for those who are still able to visit a store in person. Qualifying Presidents Choice locations include participating Loblaws, Loblaws City Market, Fortinos, Maxi, Real Canadian Superstore, Extra Foods, No Frills, Provigo, Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Wholesale Club, Atlantic Superstore, and Valu-Mart locations.

    HOW DO I REQUEST A DIFFERENT FOOD VOUCHER?

    The application form contains an option for either a Walmart or President’s Choice voucher. Simply select the option that best suits your needs and, if your application is successful, you will receive the voucher requested in the application. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate changes after the application is received, so be sure to select appropriately.

    HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THIS AWARD TO BE ISSUED?

    This process will take a maximum of two weeks. Applications for this fund are collected at the end of each week, and the details within are checked and confirmed. Once validated, the notice of award is sent to our Fiscal Manager who will email you your award.

  • PET FOOD FUND

    WHO CAN APPLY TO THIS FUND?

    This fund is designed to assist hospitality professionals in need of pet food support. Professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers residing in Canada, are eligible.

    HOW ARE SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS JUDGED?

    Assistance through this fund is awarded to all qualifying applicants on a first come, first serve basis. Once we have determined you qualify through the parameters provided on the funding page, the voucher of your choice will be issued via email.

    HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THIS AWARD TO BE ISSUED?

    This process will take a maximum of two weeks. Applications for this fund are collected every Saturday at 11:59pm EST, and the details within are checked and confirmed. Once validated, the notice of award is sent to our Executive Director who will issue the voucher of choice via email.

    WHERE CAN I USE MY FOOD VOUCHER?

    While we would love to work with local resources, it was important for us to be able to provide solutions accessible to people living all across Canada. As a result, we have partnered with PetSmart, which is a franchise model, and offers digital gift cards and online shopping options across Canada.

    CAN THE PET FOOD FUND VOUCHER BE USED TO COVER VET BILLS?

    It cannot. These vouchers are only available for redemption at select retailers.

  • BIPOC WSET LEVEL 1 SCHOLARSHIP

    WHO CAN APPLY TO THIS FUND?

    This fund is open to all hospitality professionals who identify as a person of colour. ’Person of colour' refers to an individual who does not identify as white, including: Black, East Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, West Asian, Indigenous Canadian, Southeast Asian, South Asian and Multiracial. The term emphasizes the common experience of systemic racism in North America. Hospitality professionals includes professional bartenders, servers, chefs, line cooks, dish washers, bussers and all front and back of house support staff, as well as salaried employees, such as general managers, bar managers, floor managers, kitchen managers and sommeliers residing in Canada.

    WHEN DO THE WSET COURSES RUN?

    Both courses run from February 22 - March 21, 2021. Students are free to complete modules at their own pace during this 4-week window. The course materials should take about six hours in total to complete, plus revision time. All study materials are included in the online course. More information can be found at: iweg.org

    HOW ARE SUCCESSFUL APPLICATIONS JUDGED?

    The complete application process and judging criteria will be released in early 2021.

    HOW MANY SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE?

    We currently have have 10 courses available for hospitality professionals across Canada to apply for.

    WHAT WSET COURSES ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SCHOLARSHIP?

    We have two online course options available, you will be asked to choose your preference on the application form:

    • WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits Online 
    • WSET Level 1 Award in Wines Online
  • ABOUT THE BARTENDERS BENEVOLENT FUND

    WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT A PAST APPLICATION?

    To keep your information private, please reach out directly to our Funding Officer at funding@bartendersbenevolentfund.ca for any questions about your application.

    I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION, WHO CAN I REACH OUT TO?

    You can use the contact form on the Funds or Programs pages to reach out or you can email us at info@bartendersbenevolentfund.ca. Messages through either means will be confidential and kept private from our Funding Officer and all members of the Disbursement or Review Panels to ensure it does not affect your application.

    I'D LIKE TO WRITE A STORY ABOUT THE BARTENDERS BENEVOLENT FUND, WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR INFORMATION?

    At the Bartenders Benevolent Fund, we're always working to champion Canada's amazing hospitality community, as well as to expand our reach so we can help those most in need. Our communications team is happy to work with journalists from all over to help share the unique stories of our industry. If you're a member of the media and have questions, please reach out to us at info@bartendersbenevolentfund.ca.

    HOW DOES THE BBF DEVELOP ITS PROGRAMMING?

    Our programming is designed based on the needs of the industry, as indicated to us via the applications we receive, the information we collect from partner organizations, and data collection agencies such as Statistics Canada. Once we isolate a need within the hospitality community, we recruit a committee of hospitality professionals from across the country to work together towards designing, implementing and activating a program that addresses the need.

    I WOULD LIKE TO. GET INVOLVED WITH THE BARTENDERS BENEVOLENT FUND, HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE FUND?

    There are many ways to get involved with the Bartenders Benevolent Fund: as a volunteer on one of our panels or committees, by organizing a fundraiser or by donating. Find out more here.

    CAN I GET A TAX RECEIPT FOR MY DONATION TO THE BBF?

    The Bartenders Benevolent Fund is a nationally registered not-for-profit, and as such cannot issue tax receipts.

  • FOR THE COMMUNITY. BY THE COMMUNITY.

    Stay up to date on the Bartenders Benevolent Fund news and follow us on our social channels. For any and all questions please feel free to reach out to our team by email.

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