Overview of Financial Assistance:
The following is provided by Patrick Weiler, our Member of Parliament, for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.
Government Support for Individuals
No one should have to worry about paying rent, buying groceries, or additional childcare because of COVID-19.
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan will provide immediate help to those Canadians and businesses most in need. This plan includes $105 billion in direct support for Canadian workers and businesses plus an additional $85 billion in tax deferrals that will help to support Canadians families across the country. For more information on these measures please see https://www.canada.ca/en/
The package of measures includes:
- The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – a $2000/month benefit to Canadians that are without pay due to COVID-19 and meeting the following eligibility requirements:
- those who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in a four-week period, for reasons related to COVID-19, including if they have temporarily stopped working, lost their job, are sick or in quarantine, or need to care for a child or a family member.
- workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment as a result of COVID-19
- How to Apply for the CERB:
- The application for the CERB was launched on April 6, and requires Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements.
- Recipients need to re-attest every two weeks to re-confirm their eligibility.
- In addition to applying through my CRA Account and My Service Canada, Canadians can also call an automated toll-free phone line (1-800-959-2019) to apply for CERB. Please see the CERB access portal for more details.
- Enhancement of the GST credit for low and modest income families – $400 single adults, $600 for couples [automatic – beginning April 9th]
- A Canada Child Benefit top up – $300 per child added on top of what is presently received [automatic – beginning May]
- Mortgage payment deferrals for those facing financial difficulties for up to six months for both CHMC insured mortgages and mortgages through the six largest banks [available immediately – please contact your bank plan to access the benefit]
- Placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans [automatically available – from March 30-Sepetmber 30, 2020]
- Reducing required minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020 to provide flexibility for seniors [available immediately]
- Providing $157.5M to the Reaching Home Initiative to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.
- Providing $305 million for Indigenous Community Support to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
- Income Tax payments deferred from April to Sept 1 2020
- Contributing $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to provide immediate essential services to Canadian seniors impacted by COVID-19, including the delivery of groceries, medications, or other items, and personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.
- $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time. You can reach a Kids Help Phone counsellor 24/7 at 1-800-668-686.
- $100 million investment to national, regional, and local food organizations across Canada that are able to reach people and communities experiencing food insecurity. These organizations include, the Food Banks Canada, Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada, and Breakfast Club of Canada and their local partners. Local food banks and organizations seeking funding to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Food Programs should email: aafc.foodprograms-
The Province of BC recently announced that it will:
- Allow workers to take unpaid leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19 [retroactive to Jan 27, 2020]
- Allow workers to now have three days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for people who cannot work due to illness or injury [permanent change]
- Boost to BC Climate Action Tax Credit [automatic – July 2020]
- Provide a rent supplement of $500 to be paid directly to landlords [upon application]
- Rate reductions from BC Hydro, including:
- Universal one per cent reduction in rates for all customers
- A three-month bill credit for residential customers who have lost jobs or had wages reduced as a result of COVID-19 [Application process will be available the week of April 6]
- The BC Ministry of Children and Family Development is establishing an Emergency Relief Support Fund for children and youth with special needs and their families, providing a direct payment of $225 per month to eligible families over the next three months (to June 30, 2020)
- Virtual mental health services to support seniors, adults, youth and frontline health care workers
- Canada Revenue Agency Tax Deadlines (new!)
- Employment Insurance
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (open now)
- Canada Child Benefit
- Apply for Child Tax Benefit (open now)