Updated: March 31, 2020 at 1:45 pm 

Worried about your job, income or housing due to COVID-19? All levels of governments are taking steps to support and protect people affected by coronavirus. The following information is current at the time of this posting. Please check official government websites for the most recent updates (Do not visit offices. Access services on-line or call in advance to confirm whether offices are open).:   

Federal Support Programs

Visit Service Canada for full details: 

Increasing Canada Child Benefit – An extra $300 per child is available 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.

Special Goods and Services Tax Credit Payment: A one-time special payment will be available 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.  

Extra Time to File Income Taxes: Filing date for 2019 tax returns is being pushed back to June 1, 2020. 

Mortgage Support: Canadian banks have committed to work with 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.

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.

Canada’s mortgage insurers are committed to providing homeowners with solutions to mitigate temporary financial hardship related to COVID-19. This includes permitting lenders to defer up to six monthly mortgage payments (interest and principal) for impacted borrowers. Deferred payments are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

New Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): This new taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months is available to

  • Workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • Workers who still have a a job, bt are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

Please Note: CERB will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated phone line or via a toll-free number. This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.

Employment Insurance: If you have lost your job through no fault of your own and qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, you can submit your request today.  

If you are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate, the federal government will waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs): The required minimum withdrawals from RRIFs are being reduced by 25% for 2020

Canada Student Loans: Effective March 30, we are placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

Provincial Support Programs

  • Evictions:  No new eviction orders will be issued until further notice. Enforcement of current eviction orders will be postponed  
  • Protected Leave:  Employers must ensure protected leave for workers who have to be off work due to COVID-19. This includes workers who are: self-isolating, getting treated, following medical direction or caring for a loved one. 
  • Medical Notes: Employees do not need to provide a doctor’s note to take unpaid sick leave 

Click here to apply for any of the following provincial programs:

  • Social Assistance and Ontario Disability Support Program: Ontario Works helps people who are in temporary financial need. This program offers both financial and employment assistance. Ontario Disability Support Program helps people who have disabilities with income and employment supports. 

Getting Help To Apply For Programs 

The Help Centre and Legal Centre of Northumberland: The Help Centre and Legal Centre provide free services to residents of Northumberland County on the topics of income, employment and housing.   

Additional Resource:

211 Community Support – Easily find/search government and community-based services during COVID-19.  Call or text 2-1-1 day or night to find support for all of life’s challenges. Live Chat also available Monday to Friday from 7 am to 9 pm.