COVID-19 Federal Benefits Access Tool

Support for Workers

ProgramWho Is Eligible?How Much?When Does It Start?How Do I Apply?More Information

Employment Insurance (Sickness Benefits)—Expanded Access

Employees who are:

  • Sick,
  • Quarantined, and
  • Eligible for EI sickness benefits
55% of average insurable weekly earnings, up to $573/week for up to 15 weeksMarch 15, 2020
  1. Apply online here; then
  2. Call 1-833-381-2725 to waive one week waiting period.
  3. You are not required to provide a medical certificate.

Employment Insurance (Regular Benefits)

  1. Lost job and not your fault; and
  2. Additional eligibility criteria.

55% of average insurable weekly earnings, up to $573/week for 14-45 weeks

Immediately, but must be without work and pay for 7 consecutive days before eligible
  1. Apply online
  2. Complete bi-weekly reports to prove continuing eligibility.
Canada Emergency response Benefit (CERB)—New Program

Must be:

  1. Minimum 15 years old;
  2. Resident in Canada;
  3. Total income of at least $5000 in 2019 or preceding 12 months; and
  4. Stops work because of COVID-19 for 14 consecutive days and does not receive income or benefits.

$2000 per month for up to four months

March 15, 2020 and October 3, 2020

Applications will be available in early April:

  • Online secure web portal;
  • Automated telephone line; or
  • Toll-free number
  • Must apply before December 2, 2020
Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC)—Temporary Additional Payment
  • Individuals and families with low income.
  • See eligibility criteria here.

GSTC doubled for the 2019- 2020 benefits year, so additional benefit of ~$400 for singles and ~$600 for couples

May 2020

  • No application required
  • Individual must file tax return for the year
Canada Child Benefit (CCB)—Temporary Additional Payment

Increase of $300 per child for the 2019-2020 benefits year

May 2020

No application required if you already receive CCB. Otherwise, apply for CCB:

  1. Register the birth
  2. Online: CRA MyAccount
  3. Mail: Form RC66
  4. Individual must file tax return for the year
Canada Student Loans—Temporary Pause on Repayment
  • Borrower on CSL, and
  • Currently required to repay amounts

Pause repayment of student loans, with no accrual of interest

March 30, 2020 until September 30, 2020

  • No action required
  • Automatic pause also applies to pre-authorized debits
File and Pay Income Taxes—Extended Deadline
  • Taxpayers who are individuals
  • Trusts may have different deadlines.

Extension of filing and payment deadlines, with no accrual of interest or penalties

Effective March 18, 2020

  • Deadline for filing 2019 return = June 1, 2020
  • Deadline for paying new tax
    balances or installments = September 1, 2020
  • No action required
  • Delay in filing 2019 return could affect entitlements under GSTC or CCB
Admin. Income Tax Measures—Extended Deadline

Taxpayers required to file:

  • returns,
  • elections,
  • designations, or
  • information requests

Administrative measures

March 18, 2020, deferred to June 1, 2020

No action requiredCRA’s Additional Measures for Individuals and Businesses

Support for Workers and Businesses

ProgramWho Is Eligible?How Much?When Does It Start?How Do I Apply?More Information

Work Sharing Program—Temporary Special Measures

  • Employers + employees in any industry affected by temporary work reduction (minimum 10%)
  • Eligibility criteria:

Benefits based on employee’s normal average weekly earnings

Deductions may apply.

March 15, 2020 - March 14, 2021

  • Apply 10 days before start date
  • Agreements last up to 76 weeks
  • No wait between agreements
  • Employer and employees (and union, if applicable) must agree to participate in Work-Sharing Agreement and must apply together.
  • Find forms here, and submit by email.

Support for Businesses

ProgramWho Is Eligible?How Much?When Does It Start?How Do I Apply?More Information
COVID-19 Wage Subsidy—Temporary

To be eligible to receive the wage subsidy, you must:

  • be an eligible employer;
  • have experienced an eligible reduction in gross revenue of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May and;
  • have had a CRA payroll account on March 15, 2020.

Read more about who is an eligible employer

The subsidy covers 75% of an employees’ wages—up to $847 per week.

Applications opened April 27.

There are three periods that are relevant for calculating the wage subsidy:

  • March 15-April 11, 2020;
  • April 12- May 9, 2020; and
  • May 10-June 6, 2020.

If you haven’t already, register for ‘My Account’, the Canada Revenue Agency’s secure web portal.

Calculate subsidy on the CRA’s website with its CEWS calculator.

Sign in and apply through my Business Account

    Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)—Through BDC and EDC

    All credit-worthy small and medium-sized businesses whose activities fall within the mandate of Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) or Export Development Canada (EDC)

    Additional credit available

    March 13, 2020Contact your financial institution directly and it will contact BDC or EDC where appropriate
    Canada Emergency Business Account

    Must be:

    • Small businesses or not- for-profit;
    • Revenues temporarily reduced by COVID-19; and
    • Paid $50,000-$1 million in total payroll in 2019
    • Interest-free loans up to $40,000
    • Forgive 25% of loan (up to $10,000) if repay balance by December 31, 2022

    March 27, 2020

    Contact your financial institution
    Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium Enterprises—Export Development Canada (EDC)
    • Small and medium enterprises
    • Applies to export sector + domestic companies

    Guarantee operating credit and term loans up to $6.25 million

    March 27, 2020

    Contact your financial institution
    Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium Enterprises—Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)Small and medium enterprises

    Incremental term loans up to $6.25 million

    March 27, 2020

    Contact your financial institution
    Goods and Services Tax (GST), Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)—Defer Remittance

    Businesses, including self- employed individuals, that are:

    • Monthly filers (>$6 million annual sales);
    • Quarterly filers ($1.5-6 million annual sales);
    • Annual filers, whose GST/HST return or instalment are due in March, April or May 2020

    GST/HST remittances

    Effective immediately, deferred to June 30, 2020

    No action requiredDeferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments
    Customs Duty and Sales Tax—Defer PaymentBusinesses that import goods and pay tariffs under the Customs Act

    Payments for statements of accounts for March, April, and May 2020.

    Effective immediately, deferred to June 30, 2020

    No action requiredDeferral of Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Importers
    File and Pay Income Taxes—Extended Deadline
    • Most businesses
    • Partnerships may have different deadlines.
    • Extension of payment deadline, with no accrual of interest or penalties
    • Only applies to tax under Part I of the Income Tax Act
    • Effective March 18, 2020
    • Deadline for paying new tax balances or installments = September 1, 2020
    No action required
    Admin. Income Tax Measures—Extended Deadline

    Taxpayers required to file:

    • returns,
    • elections,
    • designations, or
    • information requests
    Administrative measuresMarch 18, 2020, deferred to June 1, 2020No action requiredCRA’s Additional Measures for Individuals and Businesses

    Support for Children

    ProgramWho Is Eligible?How Much?When Does It Start?How Do I Apply?More Information

    Inuit Child First Initiative (CFI)—Indigenous Services Canada

    All Inuit children, no matter where they live in Canada that are:
    • recognized by an Inuit land claim organization (or have least one parent who is); and
    • under the age of majority in their province/territory of residence
    The amount approved is based on the request and the individual or group needs of the child or children.

    Funding is ongoing

    • Submit your request for Inuit children to Indigenous Services Canada through the regional representative for your province or territory; or
    • call the national call centre at 1-855-572-4453, which is available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.
    https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1536348095773/1536348148664

    Support for Students

    ProgramWho Is Eligible?How Much?When Does It Start?How Do I Apply?More Information

    Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

    • For students not receiving CERB or EI
    • Must meet one of these criteria:
      1. Students who are enrolled in a post-secondary education program;
      2. Students who ended their studies or graduated no earlier than December 2019;
      3. High-school graduates joining post-secondary programs in the coming months. 

    $1,250 per month per eligible student; additional $750 per month for students with disabilities or students with dependents

    The first CESB payment period will start on May 1, 2020 and the benefits are until the end of August 2020.

    Applications open May 15. You need a My Account to apply. Register for ‘My Account’, Service Canada’s secure web portal.

    Financial Assistance Resources Across Canada

    Canada Revenue Agency

    Help with MyAccount: 1-800-959-8281
    Help with Benefits: 1-800-387-1193
    Help with Benefits for Callers in the North: 1-866-426-1527

    Your Member of Parliament

    You can also call the constituency office of your Member of Parliament. They can often help answer questions and get information to you. You can look up your local MP (using your postal code) here.

    British Columbia

    You might also contact the constituency office of your MLA. You can look up your MLA here.
    Call 2-1-1 for information about support in your community.

    Alberta

    Call: 1-310-0000 toll free in the province
    You might also contact the constituency office of your MLA. You can look up your MLA here.
    Call 2-1-1 for information about support in your community.

    Saskatchewan

    You might also contact the constituency office of your MLA. You can look up your MLA here.
    Call 2-1-1 for information about support in your community.

    Manitoba

    You might also contact the constituency office of your MLA. You can look up your MLA here.
    Call 2-1-1 for information about support in your community.

    Ontario

    Call: 1-888-789-4199 (Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services—they handle benefits and financial help for Ontarians)
    You might also contact the constituency office of your MPP. You can look up your MPP here.
    Call 2-1-1 for information about support in your community.

    Quebec

    Special line operated by the Red Cross: 1-800-863-6582
    Financial Assistance: 1-877-644-4545
    You might also contact the constituency (electoral division) office of your MNA. You can look up your MNA here.
    Call 2-1-1 for information about support in your community

    New Brunswick

    Call: 1-800-442-9799 (for emergency financial help)
    You might also contact the constituency (electoral division) office of your MLA. You can look up your MLA here.
    You can find local information here.

    Nova Scotia

    You might also contact the constituency (electoral division) office of your MLA. You can look up your MLA here.
    Call 2-1-1 for information about support in your community.

    Prince Edward Island

    Call: 902-368-6440 (for social assistance)
    You might also contact the constituency (electoral division) office of your MLA. You can look up your MLA here.
    Call 2-1-1 for information about support in your community.

    Newfoundland and Labrador

    You might also contact the constituency (electoral division) office of your MLA. You can look up your MLA here.
    You might also contact your local municipal office or 3-1-1.

    This text has been adapted from information compiled and published freely by Dr. Jennifer Robson, Associate Professor of Political Management at Carleton University. You can read the original document here. Dr. Robson is not affiliated with ITK. Any errors or omissions are unintended.

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