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  • Adam Schacter

Support for those in need

Dear Reader,

Through the Covid response, times are certainly tougher for some than others.  For those going at social distancing alone, balancing a new work/life balance at home, becoming school teachers to their children, and being laid off from work…

Support and assistance from the government is available, and information on government support seems to change on a daily basis.

Here is what we have compiled so far:

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The benefit is available between March 15, 2020 and October 3, 2020. Eligible individuals can expect to receive $500 a week for a 4-week period for a total of $2,000. If your situation continues you can re-apply for additional 4-week periods up to a total of 16 weeks. The benefit will start within 10 days of submitting an application, there is no waiting period, and the payment will be retroactive to your eligibility date.

To be eligible you need to be at least 15 years of age, a resident of Canada, and had a total income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or the 12 months preceding the day you made your application. You expect to be without employment or self -employment income for at least 14 days in the initial 4-week period. For subsequent periods you expect to have no employment income for the 4 weeks. Who qualifies? Individuals whether employed, self employed, or contract workers who cease to work due to Covid-19 and do not have access to paid leave. If you are sick, quarantined, caring for someone who is sick, or home with out pay caring for children, employed but not working due to insufficient work. You do not qualify if you voluntarily quit your job.

You can apply online through My CRA or over the phone with an automated service. Applications opened on April 6th, 2020, due to volume of applications specific days have been set for month of birth. If you were born in January, February, or March apply on Mondays. If you were born in April, May, or June apply on Tuesdays. If you were born in July, August, or September apply on Wednesday. If you were born in October, November, or December apply on Friday. Anyone can apply on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

If you applied under the EI program due to Covid-19 after March 15, 2020 you will automatically processed.

Benefits are taxable although no tax will be taken at source.

GST Credit

A one-time payment will be issued April 9th, 2020. There is no need to apply for this payment, if you have filed your 2018 tax return and are eligible you will automatically receive the payment in the same manner you receive your current payment. The one-time payment is set to pay $290 per person or $580 per couple and $153 per child. The one-time GST payment starts to phase out at 5 cents for every dollar of family income earned in 2018 over $37,789

Enhanced Canada Child Benefit

Families who already receive the Canada Child Benefit will receive an additional one-time payment of $300 per child with their May payment.

Ontario Support for Families

Parents are eligible for a one-time payment of $200 per child ages 0-12, or $250 for children with special needs ages 0-21. Parents must apply by submit one application per child, only one parent may apply for each child. Have your banking information ready to set up direct deposit, cheque processing may take months from date of application if direct deposit has not been set up. You can apply through this link:

Canada student loan payments and Apprentice loan payments  

Anyone who currently pays Canada student loan or Apprentice loan repayments are suspended and no interest will accrue for the period March 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020. No need to apply all payments including pre-authorized payments will be suspended. Payments will resume on or after September 30th.

Canada Mortgage & Housing Protection Program

Tools to include payment deferrals, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses and special payment arrangements. Canada’s large banks have confirmed they will support up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and an opportunity of relief on other credit products. Talk to your lender for further details.

Personal income tax returns and payments

2019 personal tax returns are due June 1, 2020. Payments are due September 1, 2020 – this includes the June 15, 2020 tax instalment payment.

RRIF payments

Minimum withdrawal amount has been reduced by 25% for 2020. Contact your financial advisor to have future withdrawal reduced.

If you have not yet applied for assistance and believe you can qualify, please make your intentions known to the government sooner rather than later. The help provided will not get you back to the financial situation you enjoyed prior to this crisis, but it will help.

You can review updates to any support benefits here:

Wishing you and your families well through these difficult times.



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