Supports for Individuals and Families affected by COVID-19

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Canada portal to apply for CERB is now open.

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan 

March 25, 2020 Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, today received Royal Assent, guaranteeing the rapid implementation and administration of measures to protect Canadians’ health and safety and stabilize the Canadian economy. The authorities in this legislation makes sure that the government can do what it takes to support Canadians and Canadian businesses, and the economy as whole, in a timely way, today and in the future, as the situation continues to evolve.

The Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides direct support to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion through tax deferrals, to help meet the cash needs of Canadian businesses and households, and to help stabilize the economy. This comprehensive support helps ensure that Canadians can pay for essentials like housing and groceries, as well as helps businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills during this time of uncertainty.

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents 
Note: announced March 25th now the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

exerpt March 25 To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.

Applications for the benefit will open in April.

Employees who have lost their jobs should still apply through Employment Insurance (EI).

Longer-Term Income Support for Workers

Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA for workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment

Income Support for Individuals Who Need It Most

  • One-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC) to low income individuals and families;
  • Increasing annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per eligible child;
  • Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities;
  • 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;
  • Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020;
  • Reaching Home initiative to continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • Supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing women’s shelters and sexual assault centres monetary assistance to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.

Flexibility for Taxpayers

  • CRA will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals until June 1, 2020
  • For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.a phone number graphic
  • CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.

Role of Financial Institutions

The Superintendent of Financial Institutions has made clear his expectation that banks will use the additional lending capacity provided by recent government actions to support Canadian businesses and households. Including measurers such as, up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

Mortgage Default Management Tools
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.  These will take effective immediately.

Individuals should contact thier local lenders and speak to them regarding their needs as it relates to mortgage payments.