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The Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Governments are all taking action through a number of social programs and emergency packages to support individuals and their families during this difficult time.  In order to help our members navigate these benefits, we have compiled a detailed list with steps on how to apply.

Federal

The following link provides information on all Federal Government support programs:  
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#individuals

To learn more about the Canada Emergency Business Account, click here

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) 

The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

To qualify for CERB, you must:
- Reside in Canada and be at least 15 years old.
- Have stopped working because of COVID-19.
- Have had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of the application.
- Have been or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, you expect to have no employment income.

The taxable benefit pays $2,000 a month for up to four months.

Updates to CERB qualifications as of April 15, 2020: 
- If you are still earning up to $1000, you now qualify for the CERB.
- Seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19, are now eligible.
- The program has also been extended to other works who have exhausted their EI regular benefits, and are unable to find a job due to the pandemic. 

How to Apply: 

The application is now open and can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

This will prompt you on how to apply and may direct you to your CRA MyAccount or the toll free line at 1-800-959-2019.

The portal for accessing CERB has opened as of April 6, but application access will be staggered by birth month of applicant. Canadians who set up direct deposit are expected to receive a first payment within three to five days. Those who use mail should receive payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020. You will need to reapply every month if you remain unemployed.

Canada Child Benefits 

The Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year. 

How to Apply:

Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply. If you didn't apply for the CCB when you registered the birth of your newborn, you can apply online using My Account (your personal CRA account). Families who complete their taxes will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May 2020 payment. 

GST Credit

For over 12 million low- and modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, the Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefiting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. 

How to apply: 

This will take effect in May 2020 for those who are eligible and have completed their taxes. There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically. 

Provincial Assistance

The Ontario Provincial government has developed many programs & benefits to help the residents of Ontario. 

Visit their website to learn more about the various relief and benefit initiatives: https://budget.ontario.ca/2020/marchupdate/

Northern Birch Credit Union is here to help

We are committed to helping our members get through this difficult time. We are ready to support you and discuss options to help reduce financial stress caused by the current environment. Every situation is different, so please reach out to us.  We are here to help.   

If you are looking for your direct deposit information, please call us in branch. 

Additional Links 

Employment Insurance Eligibility: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/eligibility.html

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#individuals

City of Toronto Updates: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/