COVID 19 Support & Assistance Programs
Developments in the global COVID-19 pandemic are nearly constant, there is a lot of information being delivered on a daily, even hourly basis, and it’s certainly difficult to keep track of everything that’s happening. The federal government announced an $82-billion support package that involves a wide range of products such as mortgages, employment insurance, and tax breaks.
We’ve put together a list of the support and assistance programs announced so far and links to help access the resources. Some are available now such as EI, tax breaks, and help for small businesses; others are being rolled out in April.
Mortgages, Mortgage Payments, and Interest Rates
- No changes to stress testing as originally proposed, the process for applying for a mortgage currently has not changed (as of March 23)
- Lower interest rates will help to support confidence in businesses and households. For example, borrowing costs will be lowered both for new purchases and through variable-rate mortgages and mortgage renewals.
- Canada’s mortgage insurers are helping homeowners with solutions to mitigate temporary financial hardships 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.
- Go to the link for more information: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation
- The CRA is allowing taxpayers to defer until after Aug. 31 tax payments that are due before September.
- The CRA is also extending the tax filing deadline to June 1.
- Go to the CRA website for more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html
- Whether you qualify for EI will still depend on your specific situation, such as the regional rate of employment, and the number of hours worked in the last 52 weeks.
- The government recommends people apply as soon as possible to find out if they qualify; waiting more than four weeks after your last day of work means you could lose access to those benefits.
- All applications are to be made online: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment/coronavirus.html
- EI sickness benefits include being unable to work because of illness or quarantine.
- Under the March 18 changes, the one-week waiting period for sickness benefits will be removed for those who have been told to self-isolate or quarantine, meaning applicants can be paid for the first week of their claim.
Emergency Funds and Financial Benefits- CERB
- Canadians can create an account now through https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services.html
- you will need your social insurance number and you can log in using your online banking credentials as well. This will help set up direct deposits.
- The application process is now open with individual income support payments amounting to about $2,000 a month expected.
- The government has streamlined the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit into one: Canadian Emergency Response Benefit
- The benefits will be available for four 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 enough 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.
Government of Alberta - Education during Covid-19
Support for Seniors
- Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25% for 2020.
Support for Students and Recent Graduates
- Effective March 30, the government is 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 and students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
For Small Business Owners
- Wage subsidy for Small Business owners which will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
- Private Organizations are working with the government
- Bankers’ Acceptance Purchase Facility. This will support a key funding market for small- and medium-size businesses
- Land Registry Office and Banks Title Insurance: extended gap coverage may be a good idea for those who have purchased a new home, but the closing date has been changed due to virus related issue
- All non-essential services are to be closed as of 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 24.
- Under the list of essential services Real Estate, Land Registration services, and moving companies are listed essential.
- Companies/professionals, as well as clients of those businesses, are still recommending practicing safety such as social distancing and proper hand hygiene routines
Information for Landlords and Tenants
Information for all Albertans
Information for City of Calgary Residents