Canadian money
Does the CRA Owe You Money? Here’s How to Find Out
March 8, 2020
Woman filing taxes online
The Best Free Tax Return Software Options in Canada
April 8, 2020
Show all

What You Need to Know About the Canadian Aid Package (Mar 18)

Canadian parliament building

Want to know what the Canadian Federal government is doing to aid Canadians during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The Federal government has announced it will spend up to $82 billion, including $27 billion in direct support for Canadian workers and businesses. These economic measures have been allocated to assist Canadians affected by the virus now, as well as to help Canada’s economy rebound after the pandemic.

Sickness benefits beyond EI

If you get sick and don’t get paid sick leave or have access to employment insurance sickness benefits, the government is introducing a new Emergency Care Benefit that will provide up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks. The benefit is for workers who must self-isolate, those who are caring for a family member sick with COVID-19 and parents who are unable to earn income while schools are closed as a result of child-care duties.

Applications for the benefit will be available in April.

Unemployment benefits beyond EI

Ottawa also plans to extend income supports to workers who lose their jobs or see their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19.

If this applies to you (or is about to), hang tight: the government hasn’t released details how much support that will be or the maximum duration of the new benefit.

Economists had been calling on the government to introduce paid leave for those who typically are not eligible for EI benefits, like those who earn their money through the gig economy, such as freelancers, contractors and shift workers – but nothing specific has been announced yet.

Income supports

Ottawa will be temporarily boosting the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) over the coming months. The government is proposing to boost the maximum annual CCB payment amounts by $300 per child for the 2019-20 benefit year.

According to the government, families receiving the CCB will get an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment.

Ottawa will also double the maximum annual GST credit (GSTC). This averages a about $400 for low-income income individuals ($600 for couples).

Moratorium on student loan payments

The government is also proposing a six-month, interest-free moratorium on the repayment of federal student loans.

Want to learn more? Check out the announcement on the government’s website.