Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on March 18 announced additional economic measures to help Canadians affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The measures 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.”
Trudeau said combined, the $82 billion in support represents more than three percent of Canada’s GDP.
He said the economic measures will ensure that Canada’s economy rebounds after the pandemic.
Benefits beyond Employment Insurance
Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work.
The benefit, which the government estimates could cost up to $10 billion, is for workers who must self-isolate, those who are caring for a family member sick with COVID-19 and parents who are unable to earn income while schools are closed as a result of child-care duties.
Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:
- The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
- People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
- Call telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
Emergency Care and Emergency Support
For workers without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is:
- Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit by providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This benefit will 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.
- Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income.
- Application for the Emergency Care Benefit will be available in April 2020 and will require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. To apply for the Benefit, Canadians can access it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal.
- Introducing an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through CRA to provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
Canada Child Benefit
- Eligible recipients will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment.
- If you have previously applied for the CCB, you do not need to re-apply.
- For more information on the Canada Child Benefit such as how to apply and eligibility requirements, go to Canada Child Benefit website or call 1-800-387-1193.
Canada Student Loans
- To support student and apprentice loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has announced its plan to pause the repayment of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. Pending parliamentary approval, these measures will become effective March 30, 2020. This will include pre-authorized debits. These measures will provide relief to nearly 1 million CSLP borrowers in repayment. We will provide more details shortly.
- The proposed legislation would temporarily pause the repayment of Canada Student Loans.
- Effective March 30, 2020, all student loan borrowers will automatically have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
- These measures will provide relief to nearly 1 million CSLP borrowers in repayment.
- Students who are currently studying can continue to apply for Canada Student Loans. There will be no change to the application process. If a borrower wishes to apply for student financial assistance during the pause, they should apply through their Province or Territory of residence.
Reference: Government of Canada website