Q: What is the Federal Government doing to help families and seniors get through COVID-19?
A: The Federal Government issued a one-time HST rebate for low and mid income Canadians. This includes seniors and anyone who did not qualify for CERB. Along with this, the Federal Government lowered the minimum amount that is required to to be withdrawn from a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) by 25%.
For those frontline essential works who are low-income (less than $2500/month), a temporary salary top-up will be administered.
For families, an extra $300 per child will be administered through the Canada Child Benefit for 2020. Along with that, the deadline for submitting income tax returns has been deferred to June 1, 2020. Any new income tax balances due, or instalments, are also being deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties
For additional support, the Federal Government has announced that eligible homeowners will qualify for a mortgage deferral of up to 6 months.
Q: What is the Federal Government Doing to Help Community Organizations?
A: The Federal Government has announced new plans to roll out the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) to help those who have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. ECSF will be a $350 million subsidy to aid community organizations with their frontline work in order to help the most vulnerable Canadians- such as seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, newcomers, indigenous people, racialized people and those of the LGBTQ2 community.
ECSF will allow community organizations to put in place a multitude of services, geared at keeping vulnerable individuals safe and healthy, including:
- Expanding home deliveries of groceries or medications
- Transport seniors or people with disabilities to appointments
- Widen the reach of helplines that give information and link people to services
- Replace in-person, one-on-one contact with contact through phone calls, texts or the internet
- Train volunteers on health and safety so that they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response
Q: How will a Community Organization Be Able to Access This Money?
- The Federal Government will distribute the ECSF through their national partners such as the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and Community Foundations of Canada.
- Community organizations will be able to apply for funds through the national partners or their local entities.
Q: What is the Federal Government Doing for Students?
A: The Federal Government has informed Canadians of a new program that will help post-secondary students that have been affected by Covid-19 and as a result are unable to find summer jobs. Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will be a $9 billion support program for students hoping to return to school next fall and new graduates that do not qualify for CERB.
Q: What Does this Mean for Students or New Graduates?
A: CESB will provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit will be available from May to August 2020.
Q: What Else is Being Done for Students Who Will Be Returning to School in the Fall?
A: The Federal Government will:
- Double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled
- Broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21
- Enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350
- Increase existing distinctions-based support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation students by providing an additional $75.2 million in funding in 2020-21
- Extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships, and supplement existing federal research grants, to support students and post-doctoral fellows, by providing $291.6 million to the federal granting councils. In addition, the government intends to enhance work opportunities for graduate students and post- doctoral fellows through the National Research Council of Canada
Q: Has the Canada Child Benefit been increased?
A: Yes. The federal government has increased the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment.
Q: Has the GST/HST credit amount increased?
A: Yes. The federal government provided a one-time special payment in early April through the GSTC, aimed at helping those in low and modest income. For those eligible, this doubles the maximum annual payment amounts for the 2019-2020 year.
Q: What about Canada Student Loans?
A: There will be a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.
Q: Has anything else changed?
A: The minimum required withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) will be reduced by 25% for 2020
Q: What is Being Done to Support Expecting Mothers?
A: Beginning May 8, 2020, those expecting mothers who were receiving EI instead of CERB will retroactively begin to receive CERB.
Q: What Does this Mean?
- Expecting mothers who were receiving less than $500/week will not receive a payment to get them to $500
- Those who have been making more than $500/week will not have any money taken back from them. However, after the conversion to CERB, those expecting mothers will now only receive $500/week
- The weeks in which these expecting mothers receive CERB will not affect the weeks of maternity or parental benefits those eligible will receive
For those who were wrongly collecting EI instead of CERB, the EI money will be reinstated into their accounts and will be available once needed after the birth of the child.