Federal Government Support for Canadians during the COVID-19 Crisis

  • Community Update

Workers

  • EI Sickness Benefit: Waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure is in effect as of March 15, 2020.
  • Waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
  • Emergency Care Benefit: Providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and 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, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
    • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.
  • Emergency Support Benefit: Provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.
  • Registered Retirement Income Funds Change: Reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.
  • Income Tax Deferral: Allow all individuals to defer, until after June 1, 2020 the filing of tax returns and allow taxpayers to defer payment of income tax amounts owing until August 31, 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 
  • Boosting Child Benefit Payments: Increase 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.
  • Increasing Goods and Services Tax Credit: Double the maximum annual Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC) payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year with a one-time special payment in early May 2020.