Lockdown help: A breakdown of provincial and federal assistance available

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Out of work

Ontario emergency assistance — This is for those who need short-term financial support for items like food and housing.

Eligible people must live in Ontario and be in a crisis situation, which includes being affected by COVID-19, being evicted, are in or are leaving an abusive relationship, or being worried about their safety.

Those getting assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program are not eligible.

Federal Employment Insurance — There are new temporary changes for those applying, including those employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks, those who have received CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefit), the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours was extended, stopped working by no fault of their own, have not quit, are ready, willing, and able to work , or are temporarily unable to work while they care for someone else. Those who are eligible will get a minimum taxable benefit of $500 a week, or $300 a week for extended parental benefits.

For those who are NOT eligible for EI, there are three other programs.

Canada Recovery Benefit — provides $500 a week up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by half because of COVID-19

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit — provides $500 a week for up to two weeks for workers who are unable to work for at least 50 per cent of the week because they contracted COVID-19, are self-isolating because of COVID-19, or are more susceptible to COVID-19

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit — up to $500 a week for 26 weeks per household for workers who are unable to work for at least half of the week because they must care fo children under the age of 12 or family members because schools, day-cares, or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because a child or family member is sick, may require to be quarantined or is at high risk of serious health issues because of COVID-19.

Help with electric and heating bills

Ontario Low-income Energy Assistance Program — Low-income customers can get help to pay electric and natural gas bills so nothing is disconnected during the COVID-19 outbreak. Up to $500 for electricity ($600 if home is heated electrically.) Up to $500 for natural gas.

Help with mortgage payments

Federal Mortgage payment deferrals — Homeowners facing hardships may be eligible for deferrals of up to six months. It requires homeowners to contact their lender, bank or mortgage professional.

Seniors and those with disabilities

Ontario Community Support Association — Subsidized delivery of meals and will deliver medicine and other necessities.

Federal one-time, tax free, non-reportable payment — Canadians with disabilities can receive up to $600, who are receiving, as of July 1, 2020, the Canadian Pension Plan Disability, Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension, or disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.

Seniors with disabilities would receive up to $600. The one-time payment would be adjusted to provide a top-up for eligible seniors, including Canadians who are eligible for Old Age Security and received a one-time payment of $300, they would receive $300. Those on Income Supplement or Allowances who received a one-time seniors payment of $500, they would receive $100.

Registered Retirement Income Funds — The federal government reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds by 25 per cent for 2020.

Indigenous Community

Federal Indigenous Community Support Funds — For prevention, preparedness and response to COVID-19, the deadline is Nov. 30, 2020.

Nutrition North Canada — Added an addition $25 million to increase subsidies for families, the deadline is Dec. 14, 2020.

Mental Health Supports

BounceBack program — Free program to help manage low mood, to mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Kids Help Phone — Call or text for children and youth. Good2Talk — Phone and text service for post-secondary students. Hope for Wellness — Phone and web chat for Indigenous peoples, available in some Indigenous languages. Talk 4 Healing — Call, text, or web chat for Indigenous women, available only in English. ECHO Coping with COVID — Online session with peers for health care workers. ECHO Care of the Elderly for LTC — COVID-19, online session with peers for those working in long-term care settings.

Businesses

Wage help

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy — Meant to support businesses to keep and re-hire employees and avoid layoffs It covers 65 per cent of employee`s wages for qualifying eligible employers. The rate is in effect until Dec. 19, 2020. This subsidy is available until June 2021.

Work-Sharing Program — Has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. This is to help employers avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer.

Lockdown support — Organizations that have been significantly restricted by a mandatory public health order can get another 25 per cent of rent support. These are available until June 2021.

Help for rent

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy — This is rent and mortgage subsidy of up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses to qualifying, businesses, non-profits, and charities. The rates are in effect until Dec. 19, 2020.

Business loan programs

Canada Emergency Business Account interest-free loans — These are partially forgivable, up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits that have diminished revenues because of COVID-19 and face ongoing costs, like rent, utilities, insurance, taxes, and wages. Applications must go through businesses own banks and credit unions. Support ends Dec. 31, 2020.

Business Credit Availability Program, Export Development Canada — The program is accessible through banks and credit unions, offering a loan guaranteed 80 per cent of new operating credit and cash flow term loans to small and medium-sized businesses. Available until June 2021.

Business Credit Availability Program, Business Development Canada — Co-lending program is available through banks and credit unions, offering different maximum finance amounts based off of business revenues. Available until June 2021.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund — Providing $1.5 billion to help targeted businesses recover from the pandemic. Mid-Market Financing Program - Provide commercial loans to medium-sized businesse whose credit needs exceed what is available. Program available until June 2021.

Mid-Market Guarantee and Financing Program — Guarantee 75 per cent of new operating credit and cash-flow loans.

Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility — Financing for businesses that need help during the pandemic that aren't being met by conventional financing.

There are further supports for agriculture and agri-food, aquaculture and fisheries, culture, heritage, sport, air transportation, tourism, energy, and academic and research.