COVID-19 Government Assistance Programs
Support for individuals and families
Increasing the Canada Child Benefit
An extra $300 per child 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.
Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.
Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment
A one-time special payment 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.
There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.
Extra time to file income tax returns
Deferring the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals.
For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.
Allowing any new income tax balances due, or instalments, to be deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.
Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, we encourage you to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.
Canadian banks have committed to work with their 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. This allows flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most.
Contact your financial institution for further mortgage assistance.
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.
Support for people facing unemployment, who are sick, quarantined, in directed self-isolation, or unable to work
The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
A taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months 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 their employment but 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.
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.
This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.
Apply for Employment Insurance
If you were recently laid off or have reduced hours and qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, you can submit your request today.
Improved access to Employment Insurance sickness benefits
If you are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate, requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits will be waived.
A new Indigenous Community Support Fund
$305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
Enhancing the Reaching Home initiative
Continued support for people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing $157.5 million to the Reaching Home initiative.
The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.
Support for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres
Support for women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities.
Support for seniors
Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds
Reduction in the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.
Support for students and recent graduates
A moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans
Effective March 30, there will be 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.
Support for Businesses
Extending the Work-Sharing program
Extending the maximum duration of the Work-Sharing program from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. The Work-Sharing program is offered to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers.
Providing small business with wage subsidies
Up to 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.
More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of the month.
Access to credit
Establishing a Business Credit Availability Program
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC).
BDC and EDC are cooperating with private sector lenders to coordinate on credit solutions for individual businesses, including in sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation and tourism.
As a first step, businesses in need of credit support should contact their financial institution.
Offering a guarantee on loans
Export Development Canada is supporting businesses by offering their bank a guarantee on loans of up to $5 million to ensure that companies can access more cash immediately.
For more details, contact your financial institution.
The New Canada Emergency Business Account
The Canada Emergency Business Account – a new loan program, that will be implemented rapidly by eligible financial institutions in cooperation with Export Development Canada (EDC).
This $25 billion program will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 per cent (up to $10,000).
Additional details on accessing this program will be available soon.
A New Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Export Development Canada is working with financial institutions so that they can issue new operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs.
Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.
A New Co-Lending Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
The Co-Lending Program will bring the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) together with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements.
Through the Co-Lending Program, eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program.
Businesses should contact their financial institution to determine whether this program is a good fit for their needs.
Support for farmers
Increasing credit available
Support for Farm Credit Canada by allowing an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong during this difficult time.
Supporting financial stability
Launching an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program
Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, in which the Government will purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
This action will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada’s mortgage market.
Bank of Canada actions
The Bank of Canada is acting in several ways to support the economy and financial system and stands ready to take any and all actions that it can to protect the well-being of Canadians during this difficult time. The Bank has responded by lowering interest rates, intervening to support key financial markets and providing liquidity support for financial institutions.
Lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions announced it is lowering the Domestic Stability Buffer by 1.25% of risk-weighted assets. This action will allow Canada’s large banks to inject $300 billion of additional lending in to the economy.
More time to pay income taxes
Allowing businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act.
No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Deferral of Sales Tax Remittance and Customs Duty Payments
Allowing businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer until June 30, 2020 payments of the Goods and Services Tax / Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST), as well as customs duties owing on their imports.
The deferral will apply to GST/HST remittances for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods for monthly filers; the January 1, 2020 through March 31, 2020 reporting period for quarterly filers; and for annual filers, the amounts collected and owing for their previous fiscal year and instalments of GST/HST in respect of the filer’s current fiscal year.
For GST and customs duty payments for imported goods, deferral will include amounts owing for March, April and May.
These amounts were normally due to be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency as early as the end of this
Temporary Aid for Workers Program
This program offers financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, because they are in isolation to counter the propagation of the COVID-19 virus, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program.
Before applying for financial assistance, make sure that you are not eligible for either compensation from your employer or private insurance, and that you are not covered by other government programs, such as employment insurance from the federal government.
The program is offered by the Gouvernement du Québec, in partnership with the Red Cross. You will be able to apply starting March 19, 2020.
This program is for workers who reside in Québec and are in isolation for one of the following reasons:
- they have contracted the virus or present symptoms
- they have been contact with an infected person
- they have returned from abroad
In addition, workers who are in isolation or likely to be under the above criteria are eligible for the PATT COVID-19 if
- you are not receiving compensation from your employer
- you do not have private insurance
- you are not covered by another government program, such as employment insurance from the federal government
The program only applies to adult workers aged 18 or over.
The order to self-isolate must have been given by the Government of Canada, the Gouvernement du Québec or another responsible authority.
The lump-sum amount granted to an eligible person is $573 per week, for a period of 14 days of isolation. If justified by your state of health, the coverage period for an eligible person could be extended to a maximum of 28 days.
End of financial assistance
You are no longer entitled to financial assistance:
- when the financial assistance has been paid in full
- if you have not respected your obligations.
Start by filling out the registration form . Once your registration is completed, you will be sent an email containing a link to the application form. If there is more than one adult in your family, each adult must submit his or her own application.
Steps for filing an application
- Start by completing the online registration form so that we can validate your identity.
- You will then receive an email confirming that we have received your request for registration.
- Once your identification is validated, you will receive an email containing a link to the application form for financial assistance.
- The email will be sent to you as quickly as possible.
- Check your spam folder if it does not arrive in your inbox.
- Once you have filed your application, it will be studied as quickly as possible.
- If your application for financial assistance is accepted, the first payment will be made by bank transfer.
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