Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Lost your job due to the coronavirus? Here’s where to get help

There are lots of ways to get financial support if you've lost your job or are suddenly out of work.

We’ll continue updating this page with resources and information as new details emerge on how Canadian leaders and businesses are responding to COVID-19.

Losing your job is scary, there’s no doubt about it. But just know that you’re not alone, and there is support out there for you. We’ve put together a list of ways you can get help, in the hope it’ll make these tough times a little easier.

The first place to start: Employment Insurance

If you’re out of work because you caught COVID-19, have to self-isolate, or need to care for a loved one, there are ways to get financial support. The government has waived the one-week wait time for people in quarantine to receive Employment Insurance (EI), so you can access that as soon as you’re off work. You also no longer have to submit a doctors note as part of your application.

Learn more about individual government relief options in our guide to financial assistance for those affected by the coronavirus.

Take advantage of the government’s stimulus package

If you’re not eligible for EI, there’s still hope. Reasons you may not be able to receive EI benefits could include if you’re:

  • Self-employed
  • Sick or quarantined due to COVID-19
  • Taking care of someone who is sick from COVID-19
  • Parents taking care of children due to school closures

The Federal government has created a coronavirus stimulus package worth billions of dollars, which will provide cash handouts and tax relief to those who have been affected by COVID-19. The package includes support for both individuals and businesses. Canada’s Big 5 Banks and many other financial institutions have provided mortgage deferrals for up to 6 months for clients who have been financially hurt by the pandemic.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB — replaces the Canada Emergency Response Benefit)

The government is devoting funds to support workers who are facing unemployment, because they’ve lost their jobs or experienced reduced hours due to coronavirus.

According to the government’s plan, this support will provide a taxable benefit of $1,000 ($900 after taxes) for 2 weeks up to a maximum of 26 weeks for people who meet all certain criteria during the period for which they’re applying. You’ll need to re-attest every 2 weeks after that to reconfirm your eligibility.

You can apply through your CRA My Account or by calling 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. You’ll need your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and postal code to verify your identity over the phone. Funds will be delivered in 3-5 business days for direct deposit or up 10-12 business days for cheques delivered by mail.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

This support will provide a taxable benefit of $500 ($450 after taxes) for a 1-week period up to a maximum of 2 weeks. You’ll need to reapply after the first week if you need funding for the second week. Applications for this benefit are now available, and you’ll need to attest that you meet the eligibility requirements.

You can apply through your CRA My Account or by calling 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. You’ll need your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and postal code to verify your identity over the phone. Funds will be delivered in 3-5 business days for direct deposit or up 10-12 business days for cheques delivered by mail.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

This support will provide a taxable benefit of $500 ($450 after taxes) for a 1-week period up to a maximum of 26 weeks. You’ll need to reapply each week if you need continued funding. Applications for this benefit are now available, and you’ll need to attest that you meet the eligibility requirements.

You can apply through your CRA My Account or by calling 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. You’ll need your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and postal code to verify your identity over the phone. Funds will be delivered in 3-5 business days for direct deposit or up 10-12 business days for cheques delivered by mail.

Other governmental relief initiatives

Besides the Canada Recover Benefit, Caregiving Benefit and Sickness Benefit, the federal government also offered the following relief initiatives in 2020:

  • A 6-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments in 2020.
  • A temporary boost to Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.
  • Extended deadlines for filing 2019 taxes and paying amounts owing.
  • Those receiving Old Age Security (OAS) got an extra, one-time payment of $300, and those receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) got an extra one-time payment of $200. Those eligible for both received a total of $500 extra. Disbursements were made in July, 2020.
  • One-time increase of GST/HST credits. The exact amount of the increase was based on each person’s 2018 tax return.
  • People who qualify for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) got a one-time, non-taxable payment of $600 in 2020.
  • (Ongoing) Millions of dollars for a newly-created Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities.
  • (Ongoing) Doubling the homeless care program.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: See which benefits you qualify for and how to apply

Consider a low-interest loan

The Bank of Canada has lowered the prime interest rate several times to help stave off economic downturn as a result of coronavirus. Some banks have similarly lowered prime lending rates to make it more affordable for business owners to afford financing for their enterprises. Such institutions include the Royal Bank, TD, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and Desjardins.

Additionally, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) has lowered the amount of cash major banks are required to hold back for emergencies, thereby freeing up more funds for banks to lend out. It may therefore be a good time to speak to your local bank representative about credit solutions for your business.

If you have disability insurance

You may be able to claim on your disability insurance if you meet your policy’s requirements – for example, holding it for a certain period or being out of work for a certain length of time.

Contact your insurance company immediately to find out if you would be covered in the event you are too sick to work due to COVID-19. The insurer will be able to walk you through the process if you are eligible to make a claim.

Contact your bank or lender

Financial officials from the Canadian government have been in direct contact with representatives from some of the nation’s biggest banks and have been assured that these banks will be flexible with making arrangements to help individuals affected by coronavirus. Requests will reportedly be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If coronavirus has made it difficult for you to make payments to your bank, speak to a bank representative to find out what options may be available to you. You could end up with temporarily reduced or deferred payments or even a lower interest rate.

Is there any help with your mortgage payments?

Through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Government is enabling homeowners facing financial hardships to defer their mortgage loan payments. Additionally, many mortgage lenders are offering payment deferrals for those who are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Contact your lender for more information.

Contact your utility provider

Call your provider and ask to ask about any available financial support. They may help you deferred payments or work out a plan to pay bills in smaller installments. The provincial government may also have pre-arranged for utility companies to offer this kind of financial support in light of COVID-19.

Extended deadlines for income tax filing and tax payments

To help ease some financial stress, the deadline for filing individual tax returns was moved to June 1, 2020. The deadline for paying any amounts that became owing between March 18, 2020 and September 1, 2020 was moved to September 1, 2020 – during this time period, no interest or penalty fees were applied to taxes (including installments) that were owed to the CRA.

Where there is difficulty in making payments, the CRA is very flexible in arranging payment plans. Affected taxpayers may also be eligible to receive relief by submitting Form RC4288 Request for Taxpayer Relief – Cancel or Waive Penalties or Interest; requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Keep up-to-date on all things related to COVID-19

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Go to site