Canada COVID-19 benefits are the government response to assist Canadians who are going through a tough period as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic affecting the world. These economic measures form part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, where the government plans to inject up to C$27 billion in funding to Canadian businesses and workers.
In this piece, you’re going to find out what these benefits are and how to access them.
Canada COVID-19 benefits will go to Canadians who are ill, forced to care for children at home, or who are under quarantine.
The government will provide up to 15 weeks of sickness benefits to replace the income of eligible claimants. For those who qualify, they’ll have to apply for their benefits by visiting the EI Sickness Benefits Page.
Service Canada is on hand to provide support Canadians who are under quarantine by giving the following reliefs:
- A waiver of the one week waiting period for claimants who want access to their EI sickness benefits. This action allows them to receive funds in the first week of their claim.
- The provision of a new toll-free line for dedicated support as well as enquiries related to the one week waiting period.
- Individuals who claim EI sickness benefits because of quarantine won’t have to show proof with a medical certificate.
- Individuals who cannot apply for their EI sickness benefits because of quarantine can apply later. Their funds will be paid in full up to the period of the delay.
Canada Child Benefits (CCB)
Canada COVID-19 benefits also work in synch with the CCB. The following are the guidelines to enjoy these benefits:
- Eligible candidates for the CCB will collect an additional C$300 per child alongside their CCB payments.
- Individuals who applied before need not re-apply.
- For more info on the CCB and eligibility, please see here.
CPP Surviving Child Benefit & Disabled Contributor’s Child Benefit
Students who are above the age of 18 and whose schools are shut down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic will continue to receive their benefits without fail. The benefits will run until the end date on Service Canada’s system. Students who are obliged to provide a signed Declaration of Attendance at School or University no longer need to meet the signed requirement. They can complete the form and submit to service Canada.
Canada Student Loans
Canada COVID-19 benefits also go to students with loans as well as apprentice borrowers. Some of the relief the government is offering from March 2020 to September 2020 include the immediate suspension of all repayments on Apprentice Loans and Student Loans. The suspension also affects pre-authorized debits. For more information, please visit CALSC or NSLSC.
Work Sharing Programs
Canada COVID-19 benefits also apply to employers and employees affected by the pandemic. In that regard, the following measures are put in place by the Canadian government:
- The maximum duration of agreements will extend from 38 to 76 weeks.
- Waiver of the compulsory cool off period for employers who have enjoyed the Work Sharing Program to allow eligible employers to enter into new agreements
- Reduction of criteria and expansion of eligibility to allow businesses established within one year, and the suspension of providing sales reports and production figures.
If you’d like to know your eligibility status, please see here.
Canada COVID-19 benefits also extend to taxpayers who may be going through challenges as a result of the hardship they face due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is deferring tax returns for individuals and trusts. The following measures are put in place:
- Individuals will have their returns deferred until 1 June 2020. Nonetheless, all taxpayers who will get benefits through the GSTC or CCB are advised to file their returns on time, so their benefits for the 2020-2021 season is not delayed.
- Trusts with a tax return deadline of 31 December 2019 will be deferred till 1 May 2020.
Any income tax that becomes due on or before September 2020 will be deferred until after 31 August 2020. Therefore, there’ll be no interest or penalties incurred on the amounts within this duration. This relief also applies to all Canadian businesses.
The Canadian government is doing all it can to provide relief and support to all the people living in Canada at this time. It is up to us to work with the government to provide help and support to those around us who are in dire need of our kindness.