IF YOU HAVE A BC HYDRO BILL:
BC Hydro launched a COVID19 Customer Assistance Program to allow you to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Call 1-800-224-9376 to discuss.
In addition, if you are now facing financial hardship due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member, you may also be eligible for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund up to $60: link
IF YOU HAVE A MORTGAGE PAYMENT YOU NEED TO DEFER:
Canada’s large banks have confirmed this support will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Please contact your mortgage provider for further information.
CMHC-insured mortgage loans will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately: link
TEMPORARY INCOME SUPPORT FOR WORKERS & PARENTS:
If you are sick or are forced to stay home, the federal government has waived the one-week waiting period for EI and has also waived the requirement for a doctor’s note. But you first need to apply. Here are all the ways to do so: link
Starting in early April, the federal government will launch the Emergency Care Benefit to provide you with up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. When applications are made available in the coming weeks, they will be administered through the CRA. To make yourself ready, it is strongly recommended to create a my CRA online account (if you do not have one yet) here: link
If you have children that require care due to school closures and are now unable to earn employment income, you will also qualify for the Emergency Care Benefit.
For more information on what you need to apply for EI benefits, please visit: link
A toll-free number will be released in the coming days and weeks.
FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOB OR FACE REDUCED HOURS:
If you are not eligible for EI, the federal government will be introducing an Emergency Support Benefit through the CRA in early April. To be ready, in addition to creating an online CRA account, you can also create a My Service Canada online account here: link
If your employer has had to reduce your normal working hours because of these developments outside of their control, an EI Work Sharing Program will be made available in early April.
FOR LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES
In early May, the federal government will be providing a GST credit of $400 for individuals and $600 for couples.
If you are currently receiving the Canada Child Benefit, in May you will receive an extra $300 per child.
If you are currently paying a federal student loan, there is now a six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment.
If you owe money on your taxes that are due after today, you can defer tax payments until August. However, if you think you will receive the GST credit or Canada Child Benefit, do not delay filing to make sure you get what you are entitled to this year.
FOR BUSINESS OWNER-OPERATORS:
If you are facing revenue losses or are trying to prevent lay-offs, the federal government will be providing small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three (3) months, equal to 10% of remuneration paid to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Effective immediately, businesses will be able to reduce their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities are the employers who will benefit from this measure. More details still to come.
If you are self-employed but need to take care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits, you will qualify for the Emergency Support Benefit (see above).
Additional business credit available:
The Business Development Bank of Canada: link
Export Development Canada: link
FOR THE FULL LIST OF ACTIONS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: link