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Federal and Provincial Programs to Support Canadians and Ontarians Deal With COVID-19

September 23, 2021

Since March, restrictions and measures related to COVID-19 have escalated rapidly. The Government of Canada announced a series of measures designed to support the finances of individuals, businesses, charities, and non-profit organizations.

Federal Programs

GST Credit

  • One-time special payment by early May
  • $250-500 for Singles; $400-600 for Families
  • No application required
  • Distributed by CRA

Canada Child Benefit (CCB)

  • Increases maximum annual benefit payments by about $300 per child for 2019-2020 benefit year
  • Extra $300 per child expected for May and June 2020

Tax Deferrals

  • Individual filing date: June 1, 2020 (extended)
  • Self-Employed Filing date: June 15, 2020
  • Payment date: September 1, 2020 (extended)

Federal Student Loans

  • Payments suspension and interest accrual for 6 months
  • Valid: March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • No application required

Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit

  • 15 weeks of income replacement
  • Eligibility: unable to work due to illness, injury, quarantine
  • One-week waiting period waived
  • No requirement for medical certificate
  • Will be rolled into CERB (see below)

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • $2,000 per month (taxable), for up to 4 months for workers who lose their income as a result on the COVID-19 pandemic and are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits
  • Money will be paid out every four weeks
  • Benefits will be retroactive to March 15, 2020 and available until October 3, 2020
  • Eligibility: Individuals who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19 and are not eligible for EI. Also covered are working aprents who must stay home without pay to take care of children who are sick or at home because school and daycare closures
  • Application schedule varies by date of birth
  • Important: this income is taxable and will not be deducted at source.

Mortgage/Debt Support

  • Canada's large banks
  • Up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages
  • Opportunity for relief on other credit products
  • Reduced credit card interest rates
  • Eligibility: on a case-by-case basis

Minimum RRIF Withdrawal

  • Reduced by 25% for 2020

Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad

  • Emergency loan of up to $5,000
  • For Canadians abroad in need of immediate financial assistance
  • For the purpose of returning home or to temporarily cover their needs
  • Application

Provincial Programs

Ontario Parents

  • One-time payment for parents of $200 per child 12-years-old and under; $250 if the child has a disability
  • Application available as of April 6, 2020 on a secure special portal

Ontario Post-Secondary Students

  • Provincial student loan payments and interest accrual suspension for 6 months
  • Begins March 30, 2020 and ends September 30, 2020
  • No application required

Ontario Seniors

  • Temporary doubling of the Guaranteed Annual Income Systems (GAINS) payment for low-income Seniors
  • Begins April 2020 for a period of six months
  • No application required

General Population of Ontario

  • Off-peak hydro rates applied to all hours of the day
  • Effective immediately
  • No application required