The Government of Canada is taking action to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on Canadians. If you need help navigating these programs, my office is available to assist you.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:
- workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
- workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
- working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
- workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
- wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit application will be accessible through a secure web portal in early April or by telephone. A link will be provided when it is available.
If you are already receiving EI regular or sickness benefits, you will continue to receive EI and should not apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. If your EI benefits end before October 3, 2020 you can then apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
If you were recently laid off or have reduced hours and qualify for Employment Insurance Benefits, you can apply for regular EI benefits online today.
If you are sick or quarantined and are eligible for Employment Insurance Benefits, you can apply for up to 15 weeks of EI sickness benefits. To support Canadians affected by COVID-19, the one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits is waived for new claimants, applicants who are quarantined do not need to provide a medical certificate and a new dedicated toll-free number (1-833-381-2725) has been established. You can apply for EI sickness benefits online today and if you can’t apply immediately due to quarantine you may apply later and have your claim backdated.
Canada Child Benefit
The Canada Child Benefit is temporarily being boosted by $300 per child for 2019-20. If you already receive the Canada Child Benefit, you do not need to apply for this increase.
To determine if you are eligible for the Canada Child Benefit or to apply visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/canada-child-benefit-overview/canada-child-benefit-before-you-apply.html
Goods and Services Tax Credit Payment
A one-time special payment of the Goods and Services Tax credit will be delivered to low- and modest income families by early May.
The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and around $600 for couples.
You do not need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible for the Goods and Services Tax credit, you will receive it automatically.
Income Tax Return
The filing deadline for the 2019 tax returns of individuals is deferred until June 1, 2020.
Any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 1, 2020 is deferred until August 31, 2020. No interests or penalties will be accumulated on these amounts during this period.
Please note, that if you expect to receive the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, you are encouraged not to delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.
Canada’s largest banks have committed to working with their customers who are in good standing and facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to deliver mortgage payment relief.
Contact your financial institution directly for mortgage assistance.
Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)
To minimize the impact of the current volatile market conditions on seniors’ retirement savings, the minimum withdrawal amount from RRIFs is reduced by 25% for 2020.
Canada Student Loans
Effective March 30, there is a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans. No payment is required by student loan borrowers. No interest will be accrued during this time.
The moratorium is automatic - student loan borrowers do not need to apply for the repayment pause.