COVID-19 Government Economic Support

The Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses. Plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy.

As part of the federal government’s economic response plan, the government has created two new emergency benefit programs.

 

1. Emergency Care Benefit:

  • The emergency care benefit will provide up to $900 every two weeks, for up to 15 weeks, to help Canadian workers who cannot go to work, do not have paid sick leave and do not qualify for EI sickness benefits. This includes those who are sick themselves, as well as those who are staying home to look after others who are sick or children who are not in school.
  • Application for this benefit will open in April, at a date to be determined. When that happens, Canadians will be able to apply for them through CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number that has not yet been made public.

2. Emergency Support Benefit:

  • The emergency support benefit will offer payments of undisclosed amounts to unemployed workers who are not eligible for EI.
  • Application for this benefit will open in April, at a date to be determined. When that happens, Canadians will be able to apply for them through CRA MyAccount or My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number that has not yet been made public.

Tax Filing & Payment Changes

  • For individuals, the income tax return filing due date has been deferred until June 1, 2020.
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will allow all taxpayers to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts.
  • In order to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person, CRA will accept electronic signatures.

Other Steps Taken by the Federal Government

  • Provide additional assistance to individuals and families with low and modest incomes with a special top-up payment under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) credit.
  • Waive, for a minimum of six months, the mandatory one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits for workers in imposed quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate.
  • Waive the requirement for a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
    Provide increased flexibility to lenders to defer mortgage payments for up to six months on homeowner government-insured mortgage loans to borrowers who may be experiencing financial difficulties related to the outbreak.
  • A six-month, interest-free, moratorium on Canada Student Loan payments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying those loans.

Alberta Government Economic Support

  • Albertans will be able to apply online for and receive $572 from the emergency isolation support package. Eligibility is based on the Government of Alberta’s criteria for self isolation and includes those who are the sole caregiver of a dependent who is in self-isolation.
  • Utility payment deferral: Residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days. Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.
  • ATB Financial customers will be able to apply for deferrals on their loans, lines of credit and mortgages for six months.

British Columbia Utility Services Economic Support

  • BC Hydro is allowing customers to defer utility bill payments with no penalty.
  • Customers can also arrange flexible payment plans at no cost.
  • To make payment arrangements, call BC Hydro 1-800-224-9376.

Censea’s Commitment to Our Valued Clients

When more information becomes available and details are provided on how to apply for economic support benefits, Censea will communicate these details.

Please Refer to this page for ongoing COVID-19 updates.

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