Below is a list of certain economic benefits and support mechanisms currently available from the Canadian government. This list is non-exhaustive as was last updated on May 18, 2020.
1) The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit that provides support of $500 per week for up to 16 weeks for employees and independent contractors who have lost income due to COVID-19. In order to be eligible, you must be 15 years old, have stopped work because of COVID-19, had income of at least $5000 in 2019, and have not stopped working voluntarily. A full list of requirements can be found here. You can apply on the CRA’s My Account Portal. A note that, currently, all applications are being accepted, but if an application is filed fraudulently, the Government plans of recouping the benefit. The Minister of Culture and Heritage has released a video to explain eligibility for artists.
2) The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) has been increased by $300 per child. This benefit is automatically available to Canadian families who are already receiving the CCB. Canadian families with children under 18 years old can find more information about applying and eligibility here.
3) The deadline to file income tax has been extended to June 1. Payments of tax owing have been delayed until after August 31.
4) The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides $1250 per month to students unable to find summer work. This amount increases to $2000 if the student has dependents or a disability. Applications are now open, and students can visit this site to prepare their application, or, go to the CRA MyAccount page to complete an application. The Government has also provided additional funding and resources to provide more summer jobs, provide grants up to $6000 to continue education, and providing grants up to $5000 for volunteering. More information to come.
5) The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) covers 75% of an employee’s wages up to $874 per week. This support is provided to employers who have suffered a drop in revenue of at least 15% in March and 30% in April and May. More information and links to apply can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy.html
6) The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans up to $40,000 to small businesses and non-profits who have seen a reduction in revenues. In order to be eligible, a business must have had between $20,000 and $1.5M in payroll expenses in 2019. CEBA is available through local banks and credit unions. $10,000 of the loan is forgivable if the balance is paid by December 31, 2022. More information here: https://ceba-cuec.ca/
7) Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) is available to small businesses who rent a property. The program provides forgivable loans to commercial property owners (i.e. landlords) for 50% of three months’ rent. The loan is forgiven if the owner reduces rent by 75% under a forgiveness arrangement without eviction. Small businesses are considered to pay less that $50,000 in rent and have experienced drops of at least 70% in revenue due to COVID-19. CECRA must be applied for by the property owner. More information can be found here: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business