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COVID-19 Financial Supports

Below you will find information regarding financial supports available during the COVID-19 crisis. These tables are continuously updated as new programs and supports become available. 

 Supports for Individuals

Support Description How to Access or Apply
Employment Insurance (EI) Existing benefits continue.Up to $573/a week, for a maximum of 45 weeks. Apply online, here.
Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit Up to $573/a week, for a maximum of 15 weeks.One week waiting period waived.No medical certificate required (unless tested positive beyond the quarantine time period) Apply online, here
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) A taxable benefit of $2000 a month (for up to four months) for workers who have lost their income and do not qualify for EI. Apply online, here.
Mortgages (CMHC-insured) CMHC and other mortgage insurers will be applying new measures to help homeowners who may experience financial difficulty. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately Check with your lender for additional information.
Mortgages (non-CMHC) Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. Check with your lender for additional information.
COVID-19 and Tenancies Landlords cannot access rental units without the consent of the tenant, except in exceptional cases. Landlords can restrict the use of common areas to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. See more details about COVID-19 and tenancies
Canada Student Loans effective March 30 a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans was put in place for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment a one-time boost of up to $600 per eligible couple, $400 for eligible individuals in May. Benefit is paid out according to your income tax return. No application necessary, eligible recipients will receive this payment automatically.
Canada Child Benefit an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. If you are already registered for CCB you will receive this benefit automatically. Otherwise, apply online.
Income tax return The filing due date has been deferred to June 1. Payments owed are deferred until after August 31. No application necessary.
Registered Retirement Income Funds the required minimum withdrawals from (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25% for 2020. No application necessary.
Emergency Travel Loan Canadians abroad directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada. Call Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 1-613-996-8885, or send an email to CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca
Old Age Security (OAS) The OAS pension is a monthly payment available to seniors aged 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. Apply online, here.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada. Apply online, here.
Allowance/Allowance for Survivor The Allowance for the Survivor is a benefit available to people aged 60 to 64 who have a low income, who are living in Canada, and whose spouse or common-law partner has died. Apply online, here.
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers provides a one-time, tax-free payment of $1,000 to B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected by COVID-19.Online applications open May and telephone applications open May 4. Review eligibility and get ready to apply for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers
COVID-19 Crisis Supplement Everyone receiving Income Assistance (IA) and Disability Assistance (DA) who is not receiving Employment Insurance (EI) or the emergency federal support program will automatically receive a $300 COVID-19 crisis supplement on their cheques for the next three months, starting in April 2020. See more details about the COVID-19 crisis supplement
Disability Assistance disability assistance can help you if you need financial or health support. Existing Disability Assistance program continues to be available. See also full list of additional supports here. Apply online, here.
Freeze on rental rates no rent increases are allowed in BC, effective April 1. Contact the Residential Tenancy Board for more information, or with questions.
Rental supplement the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program gives tenants and landlords temporary support towards rent payments for renters impacted by COVID-19. Payments are made directly to the landlords of eligible households. Apply online, here.
BC Student Loans effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. No action needed.
BC Hydro bill deferrals, payment plans, as well as crisis funding is available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO
Emergency Housing existing shelters still active and additional emergency options may be available. Call 2-1-1 or search online.
Climate Action Tax Credit a one-time boost of up to $564 for eligible families of 4 and $218 for eligible individuals in an enhanced payment in July. No other action is needed; benefit is paid out according to your income tax return.
FortisBC Customer Recovery Fund Residential FortisBC customers can sign up for the COVID-19 Customer Recovery Fund to automatically have their bills deferred from April 1 to June 30, 2020. Apply for the Customer Recovery Fund
Child Care for Essential Service Workers As of March 31, 2020, the Province is matching essential service workers with child care in their communities. Child Care Resource Referral Centres in 38 B.C. communities are community-based hubs reaching out to all B.C. essential service workers with children under the age of five. Request childcare here.
CYSN Emergency Relief Support Fund Eligible B.C. families with children with special needs can access the Emergency Relief Support Fund, which provides $225 per month for the next three months (April-June 2020). The emergency funding will support 50% more of the eligible families that are currently awaiting services. Review eligibility and access the Emergency Relief Support Fund
Supports for Youth in Care and in the AYA Program Youth currently living in foster care, contracted residential agencies or with relatives through the extended family program will be able to stay there. See more details about supports for youth in care or in the AYA program
Kids Help Phone Line Young people can call the Kids Help phone line to access the mental health support they need during this difficult time. Access Kids Help Phone, here.
Self-Isolation Spaces Nearly 2,000 spaces have been secured at sites throughout B.C.’s health regions to help people self-isolate. See more details about self-isolation spaces

Financial Supports for Businesses 

Support Description How to Access or Apply
Work Sharing Programs designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. Application details can be found online, here.
Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plans a plan that allows employers to increase their employees’ weekly earnings when they are unemployed due to a temporary stoppage of work, training, illness, injury or quarantine. Application details can be found online, here.
Wage Subsidies for Businesses eligible businesses can receive up to 75% wage subsidy, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales, and will be shared before the end of March. Application details can be found online, here.
Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) BCAP will support access to financing for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions. Through this program, Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will provide $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support. If you are interested in exploring financing opportunities for your business through the BCAP, please contact your financial institution directly and it will contact BDC and EDC where appropriate.
Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) CEBA will provide loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profit, interest-free for one year. Available to Canadian employers with $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019, and operating as of March 1, 2020Speak with your financial institution, or click here to learn more. This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions. Click here for more information.
Loan Guarantee operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements. This program is now available at various financial institutions and credit unions. Click here for more information.
Co-Lending Program co-lending program available to small and medium sized businesses in order to help them meet their operational cash flow requirements. Eligible businesses may obtain incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the program, which will be risk-shared at 80 per cent between the Business Development Bank of Canada and the financial institutions. To become available in mid-April. Applications details will be made available in the days to come by financial institutions. Interested businesses should contact their current financial institutions for eligibility and more information.
GST/HST Remittance Deferral The Government is deferring Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) remittances and customs duty payments to June 30, 2020. Businesses in need of information about their particular obligations may contact the Canada Revenue Agency or refer to its website. No application needed.
Deferral of Customs Duty and Sales Tax for Importers payment deadlines for statements of accounts for March, April, and May are being deferred to June 30, 2020. No application needed. Businesses in need of information about their particular accounting and payment obligations on imported goods may contact the Canada Border Services Agency for more details.
Publishing and news sectors new Independent Advisory Board on Eligibility for Journalism Tax Measures is in place, and journalism organizations that meet the criteria for the (QCJO) designation are eligible for additional funding. Additional information can be found online, here.
Tourism businesses in national parks and historic sites to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on Canada’s tourism industry, Parks Canada will work with tourism operators in national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas to defer payments on commercial leases and licences of occupation without interest until September 1, 2020. Additional information can be found online, here.
Farmers and Agri-Food sector increasing credit available for farmers and the agri-food sector through the $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program. Additional information & application details can be found online, here.
Seafood sector, seafood growers, will have access to the $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program. Additional information & application details can be found online, here.
Federal income tax the Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020. Additional information can be found online, here.
Funding for Child Care Centers emergency funding is available for child care providers that stay open and for those that close. Additional information available here. Additional information can be found online, here.
Arts & Culture sector a $3-million Arts and Culture Resilience Supplement to be administered by the BC Arts Council. Operating and eligible project clients will receive a supplement of up to $15,000 in early April to help them pay their bills. Additional information available here.
BC Business Taxes effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines till September 30th for Employer health tax (EHT), provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax, and carbon tax are deferred until after Sept 30. Scheduled April 1 increases to provincial carbon tax and PST are deferred. Additional information available here.
Delayed PST Budget 2020 Tax Changes eliminating the PST exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners and the expanded registration requirements for Canadian sellers of goods, along with Canadian and foreign sellers of software and telecommunication services will be delayed until further notice. Additional information available here.
Delayed Carbon Tax Increase rates will remain at their current levels until further notice. Additional information available here.
School Tax rates for commercial properties (Classes 4, 5 and 6) will be reduced by 50% for the 2020 tax year. Additional information available here.
City of Vancouver’s COVID-19 Business Communications and Support Office The office is a single point of contact for Vancouver’s local business owners to get information from the City of Vancouver regarding business support programs, to learn what City-run business services are currently available, and to make suggestions to the City concerning business and the economy. Local businesses seeking help can connect with the office by emailing COVIDResponseforBusiness@vancouver.ca, visiting the webpage, or calling 3-1-1.

Supports for Charities & Non-Profit Organizations

Support Description How To Access or Apply
Deferral of T3010 filing Regardless of organization’s normal filing deadline, 2019 T3010 returns are not due until December 31, 2020. Additional information available online, here.
Deferral of GST/HST remittances For all organizations that charge GST/HST for programs, services or products. GST/HST collected for specific periods (depending on whether the organization remits monthly, quarterly, or annually) will not have to be remitted until June 30, 2020. Additional information available online, here.
Deferral of business income tax Business income taxes scheduled to be remitted between March 18 and August 31 can be deferred until at least September 2020. Additional information available online, here.
Extension of the Work Sharing Program Maximum duration of work-sharing arrangements extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks. Additional information available online, here.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy For all employers who saw a 15% drop in revenue in March and a 30% drop in revenue in April and May.

The government will subsidize 75% of employee wages to a maximum of $847 per week per employee.

No cap on how much an employer can receive. Retroactive to March 15.

Charities and non-profit organizations can choose to either include or exclude revenue from government when calculating their revenues — whichever is more advantageous.

Organizations can calculate their revenues using either accrual or cash accounting — whichever is more advantageous.

Organizations that qualify for the wage subsidy will be able to furlough staff to keep them on payroll, if there is a lack of work for them to do, and receive a full refund of employer contributions towards CPP, EI, QPP and other such programs.

Applications should be submitted through organizations’ CRA MyBusiness accounts.

Additional information available online, here.
Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers This program is intended for charities, nonprofits, and Canadian controlled private corporations eligible for the small business deduction.

The 10% Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers is a three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Additional information available online, here.
Business Credit

Canada Emergency Business Account
CEBA will provide loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profit, interest-free for one year. Available to Canadian employers with $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019, and operating as of March 1, 2020

Speak with your financial institution, or click here to learn more.

If you are interested in exploring financing opportunities for your business through the BCAP, please contact your financial institution directly and it will contact BDC and EDC where appropriate.
Business Credit –
SME Loan and Guarantee Program
(BDC Co-lending Program)
Loans of up to $6.25 million for eligible businesses. This programs will begin to roll out around mid-April, and interested businesses should contact their current financial institutions for eligibility and more information.
Deferral of T1044 filing Nonprofit corporations. Information returns otherwise due between March 18 and May 31 2020 can be filed on June 1. Additional information available online, here.
Deferral of T2 filing Any organizations that file a T2 corporate income tax return. Any returns otherwise due between March 18 and May 31 can be filed on June 1. Additional information available online, here.

Indigenous Peoples

Support Description How to Access or Apply
Indigenous Community Funding $305 million for Indigenous communities$10 million provided to Indigenous Services Canada’s existing network of emergency shelters to support Indigenous women and children fleeing violence Immediate crisis support for victims of family or sexual violence is available through VictimLink BC’s 24/7 telephone service at 1-800-563-0808 or by email at help@bc211.ca.
Indigenous Students Financial Assistance Under an existing program, Indigenous students attending B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions can request for financial assistance from their school’s Indigenous student services More details available here.
First Nations Health Authority Funding In partnership between the First Nations Health Authority, Northern Health and Provincial Services Authority, a new collaborative framework has been developed to support communities and meet their unique needs. See more details about support for the First Nations Health Authority

Other Supports

Support Description How to Access or Apply
ICBC offering monthly payment deferrals for up to 90 days with no penalty. Apply online. Apply online, here.
Transit Fare Relief As of March 20, 2020, TransLink and BC Transit suspended fares on all its buses.Passengers are asked to board buses using the rear doors, and accessible boarding continues to be available through the front doorAs of March 25, 2020, HandyDart, operated by TransLink, stopped collecting fares.TransLink’s scheduled fare increase for July 1, 2020, has been postponed indefinitely. No application nessecary.
Hospital Parking Parking is free of charge at all health authority owned/operated health care sites. N/A
BC Ferries Service Change BC Ferries recommends all customers avoid non-essential travel and has reduced sailings on all major routes, including passage from Metro-Vancouver to Vancouver Island and Metro-Vancouver to Sunshine Coast. Review changes to BC Ferries operations
Keep Learning BC The Province has launched Keep Learning BC so that kids can continue their education online. Families can find ideas for everyday educational activities, links to free learning resources and information on how to help children learn. Access Keep Learning BC

Health & Wellbeing

Support Description How to Access or Apply
BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool This self-assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine whether you may need further assessment for COVID-19 testing by a healthcare provider or at a local collection centre. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else. Access the self assessment tool, here.
BC COVID-19 App The BC COVID-19 app provides updates, critical alerts, self-assessment tool, and resources from public health Download the application on your IOS or Android phone, or access it on your browser here.
Canada COVID-19 App with Daily Symptom Tracker The Canada COVID-19 app allows you to track your symptoms, receive the latest updates, and access trusted resources. If you do not want to download the app, you can access the web version. Please note that this is best viewed on a mobile device.
Self-Assessment Tool This online tool will determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Access the self assessment tool, here.
COVID-19 Psychological Support Service Free psychological first aid is available to all B.C. residents (19+) who are experiencing stress, anxiety, or uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the phone.  Fill out a form online through the BC Psychological Association to access this service, or call 1-604-827-0847.
Wellness Together Canada: Mental and Substance Use Support Portal Wellness Together Canada provides free online resources, tools, apps, and connections to trained volunteers and qualified mental health professionals when needed. To access the site, click here.
Heretohelp BC HeretoHelp is a project of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information. Heretohelp provides resources and information in order to help people live well and better prevent and manage mental health and substance use problems. To access their website, click here. 
While our office is closed to the public, we are still working remotely. If you need any assistance or have any concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time.