Here’s how to apply for government help during the coronavirus pandemic

Posted on March 20, 2020 in Governance Delivery System

Source: — Authors: – News/Politics


If you are sick or self-isolating, you can apply for employment insurance sickness benefits online or by calling 1-833-381-2755. This will give you either 55 per cent of your normal income or $573 per week, whichever is less.

If you did not pay into employment insurance benefits last year, or if you didn’t work more than 600 hours, you can apply for the emergency care benefit. The government hopes to have applications open by early April and you will be able to apply with your Canada Revenue Agency account online. There will also be a toll-free number when applications open. This will provide you with 15 weeks of payments of up to $450 per week.

These two programs also apply if you are caring for someone who is sick or if you lost your job, dependent on whether you paid into EI last year and if you worked 600 hours. If you are applying for EI you will need a record of employment from your employer. You won’t need a doctor’s note for any of these benefits.

If you have children, you will also be eligible for a lump sum top-up of the Canada Child Benefit. To receive the payment, make sure you have filed the previous year’s tax return and ensure your direct deposit or address information is up to date with the Canada Revenue Agency. That payment will come in May.

For more information, check out the government’s website or this detailed chart created by Carleton University professor Jennifer Robson.


For small and medium-sized businesses, the government is offering $10 billion in extra lending through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada. Those two organizations will also be working with private lenders to target “sectors such as oil and gas, air transportation and tourism” which will be heavily hit by the downturn. Credits for farmers will be available through Farm Credit Canada.

Morneau also announced a 10 per cent wage subsidy to help businesses keep employees on the payroll during a time when revenues are plummeting. The money will tally up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses can use this money immediately by holding back income tax money that would usually be transferred to the government for its employees.

The Canada Revenue Agency is also allowing businesses to defer tax payments, even pre-existing instalment payments, until after Aug. 30 without any penalties or accumulated interest. Businesses also won’t have to deal with any new GST/HST or income tax audits in the next four weeks, either.

Much of the support for businesses will come in the form of increased lending capacity. The government loosened lending rules, allowing an extra $300 billion in lending capacity from private banks, and Morneau said that he has been encouraging the big banks to dole out the money, even in rough economic conditions.

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One Response to “Here’s how to apply for government help during the coronavirus pandemic”

  1. john says:

    Classic, toll free assistance line is out of service, lol.


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