Canadian government both provincial and federal are putting in place several different types of financial help for citizens during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The financial help becoming available is changing and increasing rapidly. These are the benefits available as of March 31, 2020, that we are aware of.

Provincial (British Columbia):

1. BC Emergency Benefit

This is intended to be a one-time payment of $1000 to workers who have lost work because of COVID-19. The full details are not available, but there is a web page  where you can sign up for alerts. Citizen will be able to apply soon.

2. Climate Action Tax Credit

There will be a one-time enhanced Climate Action Tax Credit available and payable in July, 2020 to adults and children. How much you might get is a complicated calculation, and only one person may apply in each family. There is more information about it on the provincial government website.

3. BC Housing

BC Housing has temporarily stopped evictions in affordable and subsidized housing. They are also arranging a temporary rent supplement of up to $500 payable to landlords. It won’t be payable until mid-April, so, it would not be applicable to April rent. More information may be found on the BC Housing Website.

4. BC Student Loans

All BC student loans were frozen as of March 30, 2020 for six months with no further interest accruing during that time.

5. BC Hydro

Customers may defer payments or access a flexible payment schedule through BC Hydro. Customers profoundly affected by COVID-19 may apply for grants of up to $600 through their Customer Crisis Fund.

6. ICBC

Customers on a monthly payment plan may defer payment for up to 90 days.

7. Taxes

There is some specific tax-related relief, which we will discuss in our next blog article.

Federal (Canada):

1. Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This is for workers who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). Application open online and by phone on Monday, April 6, 2020.

2. Employment Insurance (EI)

Those who qualify for EI should go that route, and EI benefits will mirror those of CERB initially.

3. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

This is available to business owners and will pay 75% of employees’ wages, while the company is expected to pay the other 25%. This is expected to last for three months. These benefits are quickly changing along with the landscape of the pandemic. There may be additional benefits before the end of April. If so, we will address them in our blog if we know of them.

Our list of benefits here may not be a complete and exhaustive treatment of the subject. We have tried to collect as much information as we could find at the time of this writing.

If you have any questions about this article or financial relief during COVID-19, or you want to make an appointment with an accounting professional at Naicker & Associates, please contact us at (604) 469-9369. We are based in Port Moody, BC.