Last updated Jan 29, 2021

These resources have been summarized and full details are available from https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Resources

As the government response is taking form and more details are made available, it looks like the application and management for a number of benefits will be done online.

We recommend that you set up the applicable government online accounts we have listed below.

For most of these accounts, the registration process involves the government mailing you a confirmation number before you can get access to all the features.

CRA My Account for Individuals (all individuals)

The application for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit ($2,000 per month) can be done on this website.

You can also set up a direct deposit from here which will get any federal money in your bank account faster. * Update, you can now setup direct deposit with CRA directly from most federal financial institutions and some credit union; details here.

My Service Canada Account (all individuals)

This allows you to start and manage EI claims faster (and now safer as well) than going in-person to a Service Canada office. 

The application for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit ($2,000 per month) can be done on this website as well.

IMPORTANT


We have done our best to summarize all the programs available below. 

 

Given how quickly things evolve, we cannot guarantee that our summary below reflect the
latest information released by the government. 

For that reason, you'll find as part of each summary a the link to the most direct and complete official
government website available at the time of writing, and which should have the latest details for
each program. Please rely on those for full details.

Summary of Support Program for Individuals

Increased Canada Child Benefit (Federal)


Official full details here Emergency Care Benefit The Federal Government is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.




Extra time to file and pay income tax returns (Federal)


Official details and updates here The filing deadline for individuals has been extended from April 30th to June 1st. For any amounts that become due between March 18th, 2020 and August 31, 2020, you are able to defer payment until after August 31, 2020. T1 late-filing penalties will not be charged if returns are filed and paid by September 1st, 2020. No penalties or interest will accrue on these amounts during this period. Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, we encourage you to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.




Mortgage support (Federal)


Official details here Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. This allows flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most. This is not mortgage forgiveness. Mortgage deferral means that payments are skipped for a defined period of time, during which interest which would otherwise be part of the deferred payments is added to the outstanding balance of the mortgage. The added interest is incorporated into the monthly payment, either when payments resume at the end of the deferral period or upon renewal at the end of the mortgage’s term.




Special GST credit payment (Federal)


Official details and update here The Federal Government is providing a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.




Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (Federal)


Official details and updates here Online application here If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide you with $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. Eligibility The benefit will be available to workers:

  1. Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  2. Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits:
  3. Who have not voluntarily quit their job.
  4. Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application. This $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan. UPDATE: If you were paying yourself non-eligible dividend from a corporation instead of salary, those non-eligible dividend count towards the income calculation.
CERB will also be extended to the following individuals:
  • Seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
  • Workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.
When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim. When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim. The $1,000 includes employment and/or self-employment income. This includes among others: tips you may earn while working; non-eligible dividends; honoraria (e.g., nominal amounts paid to emergency service volunteers); and royalties (e.g., paid to artists). However, royalty payments received from work that took place before the period for which a person applies for the CERB do not count as income during that specific benefit period. Pensions, student loans and bursaries are not employment income and therefore, should not be included in the $1000. Applications will be verified against tax records to confirm income. When and how to apply Starting on April 6, the government will allow you to apply online (see link above) or by phone 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. Because they expect high volume for the first week, they ask for everyone's cooperation in applying on a specific day based on your month of birth for the first four days, so that the system doesn't crash.

Born in January, February or March, please apply on Monday, April 6 Born in April, May or June, please apply on Tuesday, April 7 Born in July, August or September, please apply on Wednesday, April 8 Born in October, November or December, please apply on Thursday, April 9 From Friday, April 10th onward, just go ahead and apply. Q&A Q: I see that non-eligible dividends can qualify towards the income requirements. Can I apply for CERB since my holding company is paying me non-eligible dividend? A: The second criteria is that you need to have stopped working because of the Covid-19. A holding company, in general, holds passive investments (rental properties, investment portfolio, etc.) and CRA's rules is that income from passive investment is not employement or self-employment income unless you company has five or more full-time employees (e.g. investment brokerage or property management business).

So, in short, you would meet the third eligibility criteria for the CERB, but not the second criteria. Q: Will I automatically receive the each payment every four weeks? A: No, you must confirm your eligibility for each period for which you apply either online or by phone (1-833-966-2099). If you are receiving your Benefit through Service Canada you must complete your EI Report Card to confirm your eligibility.




Emergency Benefit for Workers (BC)


Official details and updates here This benefit will provide a one-time payment of $1,000 to people who have lost income due to Covid-19. B.C. residents who recieve federal Employment Insurance, or the new federal CERB are eligible.




Improved access to Employment Insurance sickness benefits (Federal)


Official details and updates here Service Canada is supporting Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:

  • The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  • Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
  • People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
  • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay




BC Hydro Payment Deferral, Crisis Fund and Relief Fund (BC)


This is three separate programs offered by BC Hydro Payment Deferral Official details and updates here The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro's customer team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss bill payment options. Crisis Fund Official details, updates and application here The Customer Crisis Fund is a program that offers support for residential customers who are facing disconnection of their BC Hydro service, despite attempting to make payments. You can apply for a grant towards an overdue balance (arrears) and the amount of the grant will vary depending on your amount owing. Maximum grants available are $600 for customers who heat their homes with electricity, and $500 for customers with non-electrically heated homes (e.g. natural gas heat). Eligibility for a CCF grant To receive a grant from the Customer Crisis Fund, you need to meet a few criteria:

  • You need to be the residential account holder.
  • Only your primary residence is eligible.
  • Your account must have overdue payments and be facing disconnection. Your current bill isn’t eligible for a CCF grant if it is not overdue or if there are credits on the account.
  • You must have experienced a life event, within the last 12 months, that caused a temporary financial crisis.
  • To apply for a grant, you need to have an outstanding balance of $1,000 or less, and should have demonstrated some attempt to make payments towards your bill.
  • You may receive one CCF grant per account-holder annually (one per year). If a grant application is denied and your circumstances change, you can apply again in the same year.
Relief Fund Official details and updates here If you or your spouse/partner have lost employment or have become unable to work due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for three months of bill credit based on your average consumption. The application is not open yet, but we expect it to be open the week of Monday, April 6. Once it opens, there is no rush to apply. Eligible customers can apply any time until June 30, 2020 to receive the credit.




ICBC Payment Deferral (BC)


Official details, updates and application here Customers on a monthly Autoplan payment plan, who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19, can defer* their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.




Support for Renters (BC)


Official details, updates and application here Temporary Rent Supplement To support people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, B.C. is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents. The temporary rent supplement provides up to $500 per month and will be paid directly ot the landlords. To be eligible, you must:

  • Have a 2019 household income of less than:
    • $74,150 for singles and couples without dependents
    • $113,040 for households with dependents
  • As a result of COVID-19:
    • Be receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance; or
    • Be receiving or eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit offered by the federal government; or
    • Have experienced, and be able to provide evidence of, a drop of 25% or more in monthly household employment income
  • Be paying more than 30% of current household income towards rent
It's only available to those renting a primary residence in BC, and applications is open on the BC Housing website. The application is a two step process, the first of which must be completed by the tenant, and the second part by the landlord. Halting Evictions A landlord may not issue a new notice to end tenancy for any reason. The enforcement of existing eviction orders issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch are also halted, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns In exceptional cases where an eviction may be needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the property, landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for an order. Freezing Rent Increases New annual rent increases are frozen during the state of emergency.




Enhancements to Canada Summer Job Program (Federal)


Details and updates here The government is proposing (it's not passed into law yet) to:

  1. Provide a 100% subsidy for students hired through the Canada Summer Job Program;
  2. Extend job placement to winter to consider jobs starting later; and
  3. Extend program to allow for part-time workers.




Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) (Federal)


The government is proposing some new supports for post-secondary students that are not eligible for CERB. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.




Other Student Support (Federal)


The government is proposing to offer a new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall. The government is also proposing to:

  • Double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
  • Broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
  • Enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
  • Increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students pursuing post-secondary education by providing an additional $75.2 million in 2020-21.
  • Extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada.




BC Recovery Benefit (BC)


How the benefit works The BC Recovery Benefit (the benefit) is a one-time direct deposit payment for eligible families, single parents or individuals. Benefit eligibility is based on net income from your 2019 tax return. You must apply to receive the benefit. Benefit rates The amount you’re eligible for will be automatically calculated based on your income when you apply. Families and single parents $1,000 for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $125,000 Reduced benefit amount for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $175,000 The benefit defines a family as an individual and their spouse or common-law partner, unless they are separated. Both people must be residents of B.C. on December 18, 2020. The benefit defines a single parent as an individual who is the principal caregiver to at least one child. A child is someone under the age of 19 on December 18, 2020 who would not be eligible for the benefit on their own. Individuals $500 for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $62,500 Reduced benefit amount for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $87,500 Using 2019 income tax data As with the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, in order to prevent fraudulent claims, applicants must provide 2019 income tax data to receive the benefit. British Columbians need support now, and if the benefit relied on 2020 income tax data, payment wouldn’t be possible until approximately fall 2021. Determine your eligibility Generally, the benefit is available to people: Who are residents of B.C. on December 18, 2020 Who are at least 19 years old on December 18, 2020, or meet specific eligibility criteria Who filed a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return, or meet specific eligibility criteria Who have a valid social insurance number, individual tax number or temporary tax number If you receive a payment and we later determine that you’re not eligible for it, you will be required to repay it. Note: If you’re applying for the family benefit, your spouse or common-law partner must also meet the general eligibility criteria. For full information, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/recovery-benefit




Canada Recovery Benefit CRB (Federal)


The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period. If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. Eligibility To be eligible for the CRB, you must meet all the following conditions for the 2-week period you're applying for:. During the period you’re applying for:

  • you were not employed or self-employed for reasons related to COVID-19 or
  • you had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19
  • You did not apply for or receive any of the following:
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
  • short-term disability benefits
  • Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
  • Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
  • You were not eligible for EI benefits
  • Find out if you qualify for EI benefits
  • You reside in Canada
  • You were present in Canada
  • You are at least 15 years old
  • You have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from any of the following sources:
  • employment income (total or gross pay)
  • net self-employment income (after deducting expenses)
  • maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits
  • You have not quit your job or reduced your hours voluntarily on or after September 27, 2020, unless it was reasonable to do so
  • You were seeking work during the period, either as an employee or in self-employment
  • You have not turned down reasonable work during the 2-week period you’re applying for
Definitions How to calculate the 50% reduction The 50% reduction is based on your average weekly employment or net self-employment income from either 2019, 2020, or the previous 12 months. You will need to check that you meet this criteria for every period you apply for. What is included in employment or self-employment income For this calculation, self-employment income is your revenue minus any expenses incurred to earn the self-employment revenue. Employment and/or self-employment income includes, among other things: tips you may earn while working non-eligible dividends honoraria (such as nominal amounts paid to emergency service volunteers) royalties (such as those paid to artists) Do not include the following in the calculation: Pensions Student loans and bursaries Maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits Any Canada COVID-19 emergency or recovery benefits Verifying your eligibility The CRA will verify that you're eligible to receive the CRB. Individuals who are found to have intentionally made fraudulent claims may face additional consequences, such as penalties or possible jail time. Proposed Changes The government has announced proposed changes to the eligibility criteria that may deny individuals who travelled internationally from claiming the CRB. The changes would apply to eligibility periods starting on or after January 3, 2021 (periods 8 to 26). For full details, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit/crb-who-apply.html





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