COVID-19: How to Access Support

Support for individuals

Employment Insurance (EI) program

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI regular benefits. The following changes will be in effect for 1 year and could apply to you:

  • A minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada starting August 9, 2020
    • If your region’s unemployment rate is higher than 13.1%, we’ll use the higher actual rate to calculate your benefits
    • This means you can receive at least 26 weeks of regular benefits
  • You only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you’ll get a one-time credit of 300 insured hours to help you meet the required 420 insured hours of work
  • You’ll receive at least $500 per week before taxes but you could receive more
  • If you received the CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended

More information: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit.html

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

More information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit/crb-who-apply.html

For questions about eligibility, call 1-833-966-2099 (CRA’s phone number for information about the Canada emergency response or recovery benefits).

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:

  • Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
  • Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
  • have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

More information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit/crsb-who-apply.html

For questions about eligibility, call 1-833-966-2099 (CRA’s phone number for information about the Canada emergency response or recovery benefits).

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The CRCB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:

  • unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19
  • because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.

More information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-caregiving-benefit/crcb-who-apply.html

For questions about eligibility, call 1-833-966-2099 (CRA’s phone number for information about the Canada emergency response or recovery benefits).

Mortgage payment deferral

Homeowners facing financial hardship may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to six months.

 

The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

 

To know if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral or to learn what options are available, contact your lender — your bank or your mortgage professional.

More information: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/mortgage-loan-insurance/the-resource/covid19-understanding-mortgage-payment-deferral

Special one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment for Canadians with disabilities

The Government of Canada is providing a one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment of up to $600 to help Canadians with disabilities who are recipients of any of the following programs or benefits:

  • holders of a valid Canada Revenue Agency Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate,
  • beneficiaries as at July 1, 2020 of:
    • Canada Pension Plan Disability
    • Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension,
    • Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada
  • If you are eligible but never applied for the DTC, or your certificate expired in 2019, you must do so by December 31, 2020 to determine your eligibility for the spring 2021 one-time payment.
  • Seniors who are eligible for the one-time payment for persons with disabilities would receive a total of $600 in special payments. The one-time payment to persons with disabilities would be adjusted to provide a top-up for eligible seniors, including:
    • $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and who received the one-time seniors payment of $300; or
    • $100 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowances and who received the one-time seniors payment of $500.

More information: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/covid19-emergency-benefits/one-time-payment-persons-disabilities.html