During these unprecedented times, many Canadians need urgent support to get through the COVID-19 crisis.
The Government of Canada has announced economic measures to help provide financial support to Canadians. Conservatives support these measures. We are also contributing additional ideas and working with the government to ensure accountability and oversight.
Updates to the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
Canadians quarantined can apply for up to 15 weeks of Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits and Service Canada has taken the follow steps to better support them:
- Waived the one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for new claimants
- Established a new dedicated toll-free phone number for enquiries - 1-833-381-2725
- Removed the medical certificate requirement for people claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine
If you are eligible, apply online here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness.html.
If because of your quarantine you cannot complete the application, you may apply later and have your EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay.
Introduction of an Emergency Care Benefit
The Government of Canada is introducing an Emergency Care Benefit for workers without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children. Applications will be available in April 2020.
Extended Tax Deadlines
Canada Revenue Agency has deferred the filing deadline for individual taxpayers to June 1, 2020 and will allow all taxpayers to defer until after August 31, 2020 the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. No interests or penalties will be accumulated on these amounts during this period.
Of note, it is recommended that you do not delay filing if you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC) or Canada Child Benefit to ensure your entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
The following measures have also been announced by the Government of Canada and following royal assent are expected to be available in the coming months:
- A one-time increased GST Credit
- A temporarily boosted Canada Child Benefit
- An interest-free suspension of Canada Student Loan payments
- A reduction of the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) for 2020
- Targeted support for Indigenous Communities
- Measures to support for people experiencing homelessness
- Funding for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres
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