Sotheby’s International Realty Canada has compiled information regarding the support available to support individuals and families to help clients in need of assistance during this time.

INCREASING THE CANADA CHILD BENEFIT (“CCB)
The Government of Canada (“Government”) is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.

SPECIAL GOODS AND SERVICES TAX CREDIT PAYMENT
The Government is providing a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

EXTRA TIME TO FILE INCOME TAX RETURNS

The Government is deferring the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals. For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. The Government will also allow any new income tax balances due, or instalments, to be deferred until August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.

Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, the Government is encouraging you to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.

MORTGAGE SUPPORT
Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. 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. This allows flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.

Canada’s mortgage insurers are committed to providing homeowners with solutions to mitigate temporary financial hardship related to COVID-19. This includes permitting lenders to defer up to six monthly mortgage payments (interest and principal) for impacted borrowers. Deferred payments are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE FACING UNEMPLOYMENT
The New Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible online in early April.

Apply for Employment Insurance
If you have lost your job through no fault of your own and qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, you can submit your request today.

SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK, QUARANTINED, OR IN DIRECT SELF-ISOLATION 
The New Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible online in early April.

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.

Improved Access to Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
If you are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate, the Government will waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE UNABLE TO WORK
The New Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible online in early April.

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 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.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. Applicants will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.

SUPPORT FOR SENIORS
Reduced Minimum Withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds
The Government of Canada (“Government”) is reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.

Practical Services: Delivery of Items and Personal Outreach
The Government is contributing $9 million through United Way Canada for local organizations to support practical services to Canadian seniors. These services could include the delivery of groceries, medications, or other needed items, or personal outreach to assess individuals’ needs and connect them to community supports.

SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AND RECENT GRADUATES
A Moratorium on the Repayment of Canada Student Loans
Effective March 30, the Government of Canada (“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.

SUPPORT FOR YOUTH
Mental Health Support
The Government of Canada (“Government”) is giving $7.5 million in funding to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time.

 


This information is regularly updated by the Government of Canada and was valid as of April 1, 2020. For up to date information please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

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