COVID-19 Update: Support for Individuals

**This details of support for individuals have since changed, please refer to our latest blogpost on the subject of support for individuals here**

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The government is introducing a new taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other
    income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need
    additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not
    sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not
    otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

Application details will be available through My CRA and My Service Canada, beginning the first week of April.

Applying for EI Sickness Benefits
Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine. The benefit is equal to 55% of your earnings, to a maximum of $573 a week.

The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim. Applicants claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate. People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay.

It is recommended that these benefits be applied for on-line, utilizing the following link:

Canada Child Benefit
Eligible recipients who have been receiving the Canada Child Benefit (“CCB”) will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment. You do not have to reapply.

Goods and Services Tax credit payment
Eligible recipients who have been receiving the Goods and Services Tax Credit will receive one-time special payment by early May. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. You do not have to reapply.

Filing and Paying Personal Taxes
The deadline for filing your 2019 personal tax return has been deferred from April 30, 2020 to June 1, 2020. Self-employed individuals and their spouses or common-law partners continue to have a June 15, 2020 filing deadline to file their 2019 personal returns.

The deadline to pay any balance due for your individual income tax, regardless of your filing deadline, has been extended from April 30, 2020, to September 1, 2020. This means you will not be assessed any penalties or interest if your balance due is paid by September 1, 2020.

Moratorium on the Repayment of Canada Student Loans
Effective March 30, the government is placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans 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.

Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds

The government is reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.

Disclaimer: The COVID-19 tax policies in the above article are changing rapidly as the governments introduce new measures. Certain details have yet to be published. We will aim to update them as soon as they are available.