FAQ on Federal and Provincial Supports
The federal government has announced a sweeping COVID19 relief package. Members may qualify for some of the provisions included.
Highlights include the Emergency Care Benefit, which allocates $450 a week for workers who are quarantined, isolated or for parents that must stay at home due to daycare and school closings.
The cornerstone of the federal program is the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, which will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for:
- workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
- workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
- working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
- workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
- wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
Q: How to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit benefits?
A: There will be a secure online web portal and automated telephone line in early April. MBT will be posting this information when it becomes available.
Q: Will these benefits affect my Canada Child Benefit?
A: No. The Canada Child Benefit will continue. In fact, the federal government will be adding an additional $300 to the benefit, per child. This change will happen automatically when payments come out in May.
Q: Should I be worried about filing my taxes?
A: Not yet. The federal government has extended the return filing date until June 1st.
Q: What about EI?
A: EI programs will be continuing. One major change will be that if you are quarantined, sick or directed to self isolate, there is no requirement for a doctors note or medical certificate to access EI.
Q: I’m a senior and want to access my RRSP. Will I be limited.
A: No, any seniors who want to access their RRSP should know that the government is reducing the required minimum withdrawals by 25% in 2020.
Q: I or someone in my family is worried about our student loans.
A: Federal student loans have been given a 6 month interest free moratorium on repayment for Canada Student Loans. The program is automatic and students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
Q: What about my rent? April 1st is coming up quickly…
A: Unfortunately, the provincial government has not taken serious actions on renters. The province will be freezing any rent increases effective April 1st and has said that they will postpone any “non-urgent” evictions until June 1st.