Budget 2021

Relief coming for Canadians most impacted by COVID-19

Thursday, March 19, 2020

On March 18, 2020, the federal government unveiled an $82 billion support package to help Canadians negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. With April 1st rent obligations looming and many forced to stay home with no income, rental-housing providers and residents facing hardship can anticipate some relief.

The federal COVID-19 Economic Response Plan will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses. Funds are set to flow both through existing avenues, like the Canada Child Benefit and Employment Insurance processes, as well as through new emergency benefit streams to be enacted next week.

In addition to waiving the one-week waiting period for quarantined individuals seeking Employment Insurance (EI), the new Emergency Care Benefit will provide qualifying individuals up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:

    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not quality for EI sickness benefits.
    • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

In addition, the support package includes measures for “Longer-Term Income Support for Workers” as well as income support for or over 12 million low- and modest-income families who may require additional help with their finances.

The full emergency response plan can be found here.

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