The Government of Canada has announced a number of measures to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Employment Insurance provides benefits to individuals who lose their jobs to no fault of their own and are unable to find a job, despite being able to work.
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
The Government of Canada announced new Employment Insurance benefits for those who are sick or quarantined as a result of COVID-19. The waiting period to receive these benefits has been waived and people claiming as a result of COVID-19 do not have to provide a medical certificate.
Work sharing agreements have been extended to a total of 76 weeks and the mandatory waiting period has been waived.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) of $2,000 per month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB will apply to wage earners as well as contract workers, self-employed individuals and workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work due to COVID-19. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.
Enhanced Child Care Benefit
A proposed increase to the maximum annual Child Care Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child.
Goods and Services Tax Credit
A proposed one-time special payment for low-and modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, through the Goods and Services Tax Credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. Single individuals will receive close to $400, and almost $600 for couples benefiting from this measure.
Immigration and Temporary Residents
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced new measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by COVID-19.
To support student and apprentice loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada announced that repayment of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans will be paused until September 30, 2020 with no interest accrual.