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COVID-19 FEDERAL SUPPORT
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid.

The benefit is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020.

Who is eligible?

The benefit will be available to workers

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits:
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are 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, they expect to have no employment income.

The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.

The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.

What documents do I need?

You will need to provide your personal contact information, your Social Insurance Number and confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements.

You may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify your eligibility at a future date.

How to apply?

There are two ways to apply:

The portal for accessing this new benefit will launch on April 6. Applicants will be able to apply for the benefit retroactively to March 15, 2020. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number: 1-800-959-2019. Both services are available 21 hours a day, 7 days a week. Both services are closed from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. (Eastern time) for maintenance.

Whether you apply online or by phone, the CRA wants to provide the best service possible to everyone. To help manage this, the CRA has set up specific days for you to apply. Please use the following guidelines:

Day to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

If you were born in the month of

Apply for CERB on

Your best day to apply

January, February or March

Mondays

April 6

April, May, or June

Tuesdays

April 7

July, August, or September

Wednesdays

April 8

October, November, or December

Thursdays

April 9

Any month

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Employment Insurance Regular Benefit
What is the Employment Insurance Regular Benefit?

Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work but can't find a job.

Who is eligible?

The claim must be made within four weeks of your last day of work.

You can apply, even if you haven’t received yet your Record of Employment (ROE).

You may be entitled to EI if you:

  • were employed in insurable employment
  • lost your job through no fault of your own
  • have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks (in some cases, the qualifying period may be extended to a maximum of 104 weeks if you were not employed in insurable employment or if you were not receiving EI benefits. You will need between 420 and 700 hours of insurable employment based on the unemployment rate in your area during the qualifying period to qualify for regular benefits. Look up EI Economic Region by Postal Code to find out the unemployment rate in your region and the number of hours to qualify for regular benefits.)
  • have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter

To receive any payments, you may be entitled to, you are required to complete by-weekly reports by Internet or by phone.

What documents do I need?

To complete the online EI application for EI regular benefits, you will need the following personal information:

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
  • your mother’s maiden name.
  • your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal codes.
  • your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, bank branch number, and account number
  • names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks
  • your detailed version of the facts (if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks)
  • the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earningsin the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your benefit rate.

You may also have to provide the following details if you are reactivating an existing claim:

  • the salary amount you received, before deductions, for the last week you worked (from Sunday to your last day of work), including insurable tips and commissions
  • any other amount you received or will receive (such as vacation pay, severance pay, pension payments, pay in lieu of notice, and other money)
Would I be able to speak with an EI agent?

Yes, Service Canada EI call center phone number is: 1-800-206-7218. Due to the extreme high volume of the calls, you could be waiting up to 3-4 hours to speak to an EI call center agent.

How long does it take to complete the online application?

It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application. The website takes you step by step through the application process and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form.

How much could you receive?

For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $54,200. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $573 per week.

How long you could receive EI regular benefits?

You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in your region at the time of filing your claim and the amount of insurable hours you have accumulated in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is shorter.

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit
What is the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit?

Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit provides up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit.

What documents do I need?

You must get a medical certificate to show that you’re unable to work for medical reasons. Medical reasons include illness, injury, quarantine or any medical condition that prevents you from working

You must obtain your Records of Employment (ROE).

You may need to provide these documents to Service Canada.

Make sure you have the following information to complete your application:

  • the names and addresses of your employers in the last 52 weeks
  • the dates you were employed with each employer and the reasons you're no longer employed with them
  • your detailed explanation of the facts if you quit or were dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks
  • your full mailing address and your home address, if they are different
  • your social insurance number (SIN)
  • your mother's maiden name
  • your banking information, including financial institution, branch (transit) number and your account number, to sign up for direct deposit
Am I eligible?

The information below should be used as a guideline. We encourage you to apply for benefits as soon as possible and let a Service Canada agent determine if you're eligible.

You need to demonstrate that:

  • you're unable to work for medical reasons
  • your regular weekly earnings from work have decreased by more than 40% for at least one week
  • you accumulated 600 insured hours* of work in the 52 weeks before the start of your claim or since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter

*As an example, 600 hours are equivalent to 20 weeks of work at 30 hours a week.

While you’re receiving sickness benefits, you must remain available for work if it weren’t for your medical condition.

How to apply?

Online: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness/apply.html

To access information about your EI claim, you will need your SIN and access code, which you will find on the benefit statement that is mailed to you after you apply for EI benefits.

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218
TTY: 1-800-529-3742

The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday.

Would I be able to speak with an EI agent?

Yes, Service Canada EI call center phone number is: 1-800-206-7218. Due to the extreme high volume of the calls, you could be waiting up to 3-4 hours to speak to an EI call center agent.

How long does it take to complete the online application?

The online application takes about an hour to complete. Your information is saved for 72 hours (3 days) from the time you start. If you don't complete the application, you can come back to it later using a temporary password that you receive when you start your application.

If you don't complete the application within 72 hours, it will be deleted, and you'll have to start a new application.

PROVINCIAL SUPPORT
Interest-Free Loan for Rent Payment
Who Can apply?

The Financial assistance program to enable tenants to pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic is intended to temporarily support tenants who do not have enough money to pay all or part of their rent for May and/or June because they have lost their job, stopped work, or had their hours of work reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program allows tenants to take out an interest-free loan of up to $1,500 to pay all or part of their rent for May and/or June 2020. The financial assistance is paid directly to landlords.

Who is eligible

A person is eligible if they are:

  • an individual;
  • a resident of Quebec;
  • receiving or eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance benefits from the Government of Canada in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • a tenant of an eligible dwelling. This means that they must have a lease that was in effect on May 1, 2020, at the time of their application.

A dwelling is eligible if it is used as the main residence of the eligible person.

A dwelling is not eligible if:

  • it is in a low-income housing (HLM) unit; or
  • it is subsidized by the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) through the Rent Supplement Program.
What is the timeline to repay the loan?

The financial assistance provided to tenants by the Société d’habitation du Québec is in the form of a lump sum loan of up to $1,500. This financial assistance is paid directly to landlords. Tenants agree to repay the loan to the Société d’habitation du Québec not later than August 1, 2021.

No interest will be collected on the loan until August 1, 2021. Starting on August 2, 2021, interest will be applied at the rate established by law.

What documents do I need?

Tenants must fill out the Société d’habitation du Québec loan form not later than July 15, 2020. If a lease has been signed by more than one tenant, each tenant may submit an application. In all cases where there is more than one tenant on the lease, the amount of the maximum lump sum loan is divided by the number of tenants on the lease, even if the other tenants have not submitted an application. Therefore, only the part of the loan of the tenant or tenants who have submitted an application will be paid to the landlord.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • A signed copy of the lease in effect for the dwelling occupied by the tenant on May 1, 2020.
  • A copy of the lease amendment notice (in effect for the period in question), if applicable.
  • A copy of relevé 31 – Renseignements sur l’occupation d’un lodgement (RL-31 slip, in French only) for the tenant who occupied the eligible dwelling on December 31, 2019.
  • A copy of a valid identification document with photo issued by a government authority in Quebec (e.g. driver’s licence, health insurance card) or Canada (e.g. permanent resident card), or in another province or territory of Canada.

Make sure to scan or photograph your supporting documents before filling out the form; they must be attached to your application.

When will the landlord receive the payment?

The landlord will receive the financial assistance in a single payment after having been informed of the tenant’s application and having provided the Société d’habitation du Québec with the required information for the deposit. They must agree to use the amount received solely as payment for the rent of the person who obtained the loan; as well, if the payment is greater than the amount of rent to be covered, the landlord agrees to give the surplus back to the person who obtained the loan.

To whom should I speak if I have additional questions about the program?

If you want more information about the Financial assistance program to enable tenants to pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact the Société d’habitation du Québec customer service centre at 1-800-463-4315, or send an email to programmepretcovid@shq.gouv.qc.ca.

How long does it take to complete the online application?

The estimated time to complete the online application is 5-10 minutes.

Temporary Aid for Workers Program
Who can apply?

This program is for workers who reside in Québec and are in isolation for one of the following reasons:

  • they have contracted the virus or present symptoms
  • they have been in contact with an infected person
  • they have returned from abroad
When can I apply?

Workers can apply starting March 19, 2020.

How to apply?

Online: https://www.quebec.ca/en/family-and-support-for-individuals/financial-assistance/temporary-aid-for-workers-program/

By telephone, by speaking with a Red Cross agent at 1-800-863-6582 (starting at 8:20 a.m., 7 days a week).

What documents do I need?

The applicants will be required to complete a registration form and an application and attest that they meet the eligibility requirements.

The applicants will not be required to submit documents with their application.

How long does it take to complete the online application?

The estimated time to complete the registration form as well as the online application is 5-10 minutes.

Would I be able to speak with an agent?

Due to the extreme high volume of the calls, you could be waiting up to 3-4 hours to speak to a call center agent.

How much will I receive?

The lump-sum amount granted to an eligible person is $573 per week, for a period of 14 days of isolation. If justified by your state of health, the coverage period for an eligible person could be extended to a maximum of 28 days.

Who will not qualify?

Workers who are receiving compensation from their employer, workers who have private insurance, workers who are covered by another government program, such as Employment Insurance from the federal government, or the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit, as well as workers under the age of 18, will not qualify for this benefit.

Quebec Hydro: The following measures have been put in place to help those affected:

  • Hydro Québec will not cut off power to anyone for non-payment.
  • There will be no planned service interruptions for system maintenance, with the exception of those that are absolutely necessary.
  • Starting Monday, March 23, Hydro Québec will stop applying administration charges for unpaid bills until further notice for all customers. Customers unable to pay their electricity bills over the coming months will thus not be penalized. They can enter into a payment arrangement with Hydro Québec to defer payment.