COVID - 19 Household Economic Resources

COVID - 19 Household Economic Resources

March 26, 2020

Please remember when asking for supports or asking to make payments at a later date, make sure you quote you are doing this due to COVID 19. If you do not do this, you will be denied your claim/request. 


Employment Insurance

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit. 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.  To apply visit: 

The Canadian government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

- Workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 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.
- Self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
Important Notes

- If you are directly affected by the COVID-19 because you are sick or quarantined and you have not yet applied for EI benefits, please submit your application online before contacting Service Canada.  This will allow them to better serve you and prevent delays in establishing your claim.
- If you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits, whether you are sick or quarantined, and would like to have the one-week waiting period waived, call the new toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725.
- Please do not visit or enter any Service Canada office at this time.  As an alternative, you may access services online or by calling: 1 800 O-Canada.
- If you are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, difficulty breathing or you are in self-isolation or quarantine, do not visit or enter any Service Canada office.


Increasing the Canada Child Benefit (must have filed your 2018 tax return)

If you already receive the Canada Child Benefit payment and have an eligible child under your care in May 2020, you will receive $300 more per child in addition to your regular payment. No need to re-apply. To apply, click here or call 1-800-387-1193; or, for Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut: 1-866-426-1527.


The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit

This new financial support, which provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months, will be accessible through a secure web portal starting April 6, 2020. Applicants will also be able to apply via telephone. Register for direct deposit on CRA's My Account for the quickest and most reliable way to get benefit and credit payments.  

Applicants are expected to apply by birthdate.

Jan, Feb, Mar apply April 6

Apr, May, Jun apply April 7

Jul, Aug, Sept apply April 8

Oct, Nov, Dec apply April 9

There are two ways to apply:

Online with CRA My Account 

Over the phone with an automated phone service.


BC Emergency Benefit

One-time additional tax-free payment of $1000 to those on EI or CERB. Check back for application instructions. You can follow this link.


Support for people with low and modest income

Increased goods and services tax credit this year.  For over 12 million low- and modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, the Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. This measure will inject $5.5 billion into the economy. 


Support for seniors

Eased the rules for Registered Retirement Income Funds. The Government of Canada is reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.

Support for students and recent graduates

A moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans.  The Government of Canada is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.


Youth in Care

Youth in care will not age out of services during the pandemic. Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program payments will continue despite school closures and training interruptions.  More information here.


Young Adults Program (AYA)

Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program payments will continue to former youth-in-care despite school closures and training interruptions. More information here.  


Income Assistance


Existing Income Assistance program continues to be available for those in need with no other resources. Apply online, by phone at 1-866-866-0800, or visit your local office.


People with Disabilities

The existing Disability Assistance program continues to be available. See also a full list of additional supports here. Apply online, by phone at 1-866-866-0800, or visit your local office.


Emergency Child Care Funding

Child care providers receiving emergency government funding cannot charge parent fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families, starting April. Check with your provider to see if they are in this program.


BC Student Loans

Six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment, starting April. Repayment will be paused automatically. Information here.


Canada Student Loans

Six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment, starting April. Repayment will be paused automatically. Information here.


Extra time to file income tax returns

For individuals (other than trusts), the tax return filing due date will be extended until June 1, 2020.
When you file in your income tax return, if you owe money, payment will only be due September 1, 2020, and will not incur interest or penalties.


Assistance accessing services

Complete an online request. A Service Canada officer will contact you within 2 business days. Just visit this link to fill in the request: 


BC-Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Program

This new program will provide a temporary rental supplement (up to $500 per month) to assist eligible low- and moderate-income renters who are struggling to pay their rent as a result of income loss or income reduction due to COVID-19. Eligible tenants will have the benefit paid directly to their landlord, benefiting both the landlord and the tenant. At this time, this is a three-month program. Applications are said to be open Mid-April on the BC Housing Website 


Freeze on rental rates

No rent increases are allowed in BC, effective April 1, 2020.   No action needed. Contact RTB with questions.


Mortgages (CMHC-insured)

Mortgage payment deferrals available for CMHC-insured loans. Check with your lender.


Mortgages (Non-CMHC)

Check with your lender about payment deferral options. Check with your lender.


Emergency Housing

Existing shelters still active and additional emergency options may be available. Call 2-1-1  or search online.


Fortis BC – COVID 19 Customer Assistance Program

Billing and payment: late payment fees will be waived and no customer will be disconnected from the energy they need due to financial hardship at this time. Billing questions and flexible payment options can be made. Contact 1-866-436-7847 for electricity or 1-888-224-2710 for natural gas, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also email or and access your Account Online.

BC Hydro – COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program

The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides residential and commercial customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call the customer service team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss bill payment options.

Residential customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may also be eligible for the Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills.

Telus Mobility 

Effective immediately:
- Waiving home internet overage charges for customers without unlimited data plans until April 30.
- Waiving all Easy Roam®, Travel Passes and pay-per-use roaming charges for postpaid and small business customers until April 30
- Offering flexible payment options for consumer and small business customers who have been financially affected by the crisis
- Offering FREE channel previews on Optik TV –  View channel previews
- Offering FREE educational activities encouraging families to 'Learn Do Share' with Microsoft
- You can also call 1-866-558-2273 or dial *611 on your cell – Please note that Telus is currently experiencing longer the normal wait times. You can also visit the link for more information 

Fido – COVID 19 

Beginning March 16 until June 14, accounts will not be suspended or disconnected for any customers experiencing financial difficulties. In addition, Fido is supporting customers facing financial uncertainty because of COVID-19 with more flexible payment options.  Visit Fido's website for more information 


Koodo – COVID 19

Until the end of April, 
- Waiving all Easy Roam® and pay-per-use roaming* charges starting March 13, 2020, for postpaid customers.
- Crediting Prepaid customer accounts with the full cost of U.S. Roaming Booster add-ons used between March 13, 2020, to April 30, 2020.
- Providing flexible payment options for postpaid customers facing financial challenges because of COVID-19. 

Visit Koodo's website for more information 

ICBC Autoplan Payment plan

Customers on a monthly Autoplan payment plan who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 can defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty. 

You can use an online resource tool to apply for deferrals or call the customer support team at 604-661-2723 or 1-800-665-6442 to discuss payment options.


A new Indigenous Community Support Fund

The Indigenous Community Support Fund will provide $305 million to help Indigenous communities prevent, prepare and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This funding will help Indigenous communities to address their unique priorities and needs such as support for Elders, food insecurity, educational and other support for children, mental health assistance and emergency response services.

Through this fund, $290 million has been allocated to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities., The remaining $15 million will be available for regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members living away from their communities, and to regional organizations such as Friendship Centres and the Métis Settlements General Council of Alberta.A call for proposals will be launched shortly for the regional and urban Indigenous organizations fund.


Support for businesses

There is also a suite of measures that have been released to support businesses. These include support to avoid layoffs, access to credit, and more.


Visit the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan for details. 


BC Transit & TransLink

Fare-free boarding on all buses. Enter through rear of the bus, unless accessible loading is required.


Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs)

Minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25% for 2020. More information here.


Emergency Travel Loan

Emergency loan of $5000 available to Canadians traveling abroad. Dial +1 613-996-8885 or send an email.


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Covers up to 75% of wages for businesses, charities, and non-profits that have lost more than 30% of their revenue. Max subsidy of $847 per week per employee, backdated to March 15. Financing support for small and medium-sized businesses. Available mid-April. Canada Emergency Business Account: Loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits, interest-free for one year. A portion may be forgivable. Available mid-April.


Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)

Loan Guarantee: Operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to SMEs. Available mid-April.
Co-Lending Program: Co-lend term loans to SMEs for their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program. Available mid-April.


Federal income tax

Payments owed are deferred until after August 31. More information here.


BC business taxes

Payments for Employer health tax (EHT), provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and carbon tax are deferred until after Sept 30. Scheduled April 1 increases to provincial carbon tax and PST is deferred. More information here


School Tax

Cut of 50% for business and industry property classes, to be passed onto tenants on triple-net leases. More information here



Payments owed deferred to June 30.

Customs duties & taxes (BUSINESS)

Payments owed deferred to June 30.



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Last modified: Wednesday 03-Apr-24 12:36:29 PDT