What help is available from various government and related agencies?
Federal and Provincial programs are subject to change. We will do our best to keep you updated.
If you are aware of any additional assistance programs, updates or have questions please advise us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will follow up.
There are programs for 1) INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES 2) SMALL BUSINESSES & CORPORATIONS. We’ve highlighted a few key ones here:
- 1) INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
Filing of 2019 Personal tax returns
All family members should file their 2019 personal tax returns (and any past year tax returns as well) as soon as possible and thereby make sure the government has the correct information for both mailing and direct deposit information;
This is important so that you can receive any automatic (no application necessary) benefits such as the increased GST credit. There may be other benefits that will require proof of income through filed and assessed tax returns so returns must be filed as soon as possible.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT programs
For complete a list of Federal assistance programs, go to the link below: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The CERB provides up to $500.00 per week for up to 16 weeks for those individuals (both employed and self-employed) who have stopped working because of COVID -19.
The CERB is available to workers resident in Canada, who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and had at least $5,000.00 of income in 2019 or in the twelve months prior to their application.
Application for CERB
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOUR APPLICATION IS APPROVED YOU WILL RECEIVE PAYMENT FOR FOUR WEEKS. IF YOUR SITUATION CONTINUES BEYOND THE FOUR WEEKS YOU WILL NEED TO REAPPLY FOR ADDITIONAL WEEKS. YOU WILL NEED TO APPLY AGAIN EVERY FOUR WEEKS TO RECEIVE THE MAXIMUM 16 WEEKS ASSISTANCE.
The government is concerned about the number of individuals who may apply and have therefore set up the following schedule. The government will start accepting applications April 6thand applications can be made online or by telephone
Between January and March, Monday is your day to apply. People born in April, May and June can apply on Tuesday. People born in July, August and September can apply on Wednesdays and anyone who born in October November December can apply and Thursdays. Fridays Saturdays and Sundays will be a free-for-all.
You can apply either by signing into your Canada Revenue Agency account or calling the automated toll free line 1 800 959 2019. You will need your social insurance number and your postal code to verify your identity when you call in.
For more information, go to: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html
Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
The Canada child tax benefit has been increased by an extra 300.00 per child for 2019-20. This will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment scheduled for May 2020
Those who already receive the CCB DO NOT NEED TO RE-APPLY.
BC Provincial programs
For complete a list of B.C. assistance programs, go to the link below:
The BC emergency Benefit provides a one-time payment of $1,000.00 for those who qualify for Federal EI or the CERB benefit.
Application information will be released in early May.
Temporary Rent Supplement
A temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500.00 per month and is available renters who are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID -19. This supplement will be paid directly to Landlords. Application information will be released in early April.
BC Hydro billings deferral and assistance
If you or your partner have lost employment or are unable to work because of COVID-19 you may be eligible for three months credit based on your average consumption.
The Hydro credit is dependent on qualifying for the CERB benefit noted earlier.
BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund
BC Hydro also has a long standing Customer Crisis Fund that offers support support to a residential customer experiencing a temporary financial crisis, such as illness, a death in the family or loss of employment. The application can be done online through the B.C. Hydro website.
ICBC Payment Deferral
Customers on a monthly auto payment plan, who are facing difficulties due to COVID-19 can defer monthly payments for 90 days with no penalty. Please note that this is a deferral of payment, not a cancellation or reduction of the amount owing.
You can make a request online using the ICBC online resource tool or you can call 604 661 2723 to discuss payment options.
If you have questions about various services provided by the B.C. government you can call 1-888-268-4319
Mortgage payment deferrals: The federal government has coordinated with major banks to defer up to 6 months of mortgage payments. The banks are receiving requests, which will be handled on a case by case basis. For those who may experience a problem in making your mortgage payments, please contact your bank account manager.
- 2) SMALL BUSINESS AND CORPORATIONS
There are two wage subsidy programs available or employers:
- The Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS) covers 10% of wage costs
- The Canada Emergency Wage subsidy (CEWS) covers 75% of wage cost
These subsidies are intended to help employers cover the costs of keeping employees working during this time when revenues may have declined significantly. The details of these two programs are beyond the scope of this information sheet however if you are an employer you should seek professional advice as to the applicability of these two programs as the assistance can be very significant.
If you have problems with making payments of any kind you should communicate in advance with the organization or person you owe the money to. Be proactive and do not wait until your financial situation worsens. Most lenders will assist if you show a willingness to plan ahead.
If you have questions about this information please email at email@example.com