COVID-19 Assistance Decoded: Current Status of Canadian Low-Income Essential Workers Salary Top-Up
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Are you an essential worker? Here’s a quick and simple overview of what the low-income essential workers salary top-up means for affected Canadians.

The Canadian government appreciates the risk frontline workers are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic and has drafted legislation to offer assistance. Details of how the benefits will be implemented is still in the works, but following are some of the plan’s basic concepts.

The Temporary Salary Top Up for Low-Income Essential Workers

Employees in job categories approved for the program should receive $4/per hour pandemic pay on top of their regular wages. Some workers should also receive lump sum payments of $250  for four months if in an eligible job category and working over 100 hours per month.

Pandemic pay will be in effect for 16 weeks from April 24, 2020 to August 13, 2020  and is expected to supplement the pay of  over 350,000 frontline workers.  

Who May Be Eligible for Benefits?

Eligible workers include those in settings such as:

  • Long-term care homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Emergency shelters
  • Supportive housing
  • Social services
  • Congregate care settings
  • Correctional institutions
  • Youth justice facilities
  • Some hospital staff including nurses and auxiliary staff

Will the Procedures Be the Same In Every Province?

No. The details of payment recipients and amounts will be determined by each province. Here is a link to the list of eligible recipients in Ontario.

When Will Payments Be Made?

Exact details have not yet been released, but when the payments are sent out, the amounts will be retroactive to April 24.

So, eligible workers will have to wait a bit to receive benefits, but when they arrive, the workers will be reimbursed for the full amount from April 24 when the program began, or when the worker was hired, if employment didn’t start until after April 24.  

Please note that the information in this article as current as of May 15, 2020.

Sometimes life happens and we need a little help to figure it all out. Many of us are facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 crisis. Visit our blog for more helpful tips on saving money and other interesting stuff.

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