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Covid-19: Financial Supports for Women and Their Families

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Community
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COVID-19

In response to the outbreak of Covid-19 across Canada, the federal and provincial governments have announced a series of new benefits and changes to existing benefits to better support people through this time.

Below is a list of new benefits and changes to existing benefits that may be of help to single mothers and their families.

Please note this list was up-to-date as of May 5, 2020. For more resources and the latest information, please visit:

1. Increasing the Canada Child Benefit
2. Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment
  • A one-time special payment will be available 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
3. Extra time to file income tax returns
  • The filing due date for 2019 tax returns of individuals (other than trusts) will be deferred until June 1, 2020  
  • Any new income tax balances due, or instalments, will be allowed to be deferred until after 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, we encourage you to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined
4. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • A taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months. 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 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI 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 or self-employment income.
    • Who are making up to $1000 or less due to reduced work hours
    • Who are seasonal workers
    • Who have run out of EI
       
  • Important Considerations:
    • You cannot be paid Employment Insurance benefits and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the same period.
      Note: If you received both payments for the same time period, please hold off on spending both cheques until further clarification from the from the government as you may be required to return payment.
    • If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits prior to March 15th, your claim will be processed under the pre-existing Employment Insurance rules. If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
    • This benefit is taxable. Although income tax will not be deducted at source, the CERB must be reported as income on the recipient’s income tax return for the 2020 tax year.
       
  • There are two ways to apply:
5. BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program
  • The new rental supplement will help households by offering up to $500 a month towards their rent, building on federal and provincial financial supports already announced for British Columbians facing financial hardship
  • Tenant Eligibility:
    • Households need to meet each of the following criteria to qualify for the BC Temporary Rental Supplement:
      • Have a 2019 gross household income of less than:
        • $74,150 for singles and couples without dependents
        • $113,040 for households with dependents
    • As a result of COVID-19:
      • Be receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance; orBe receiving or eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit offered by the federal government; or
      • Have experienced, and be able to provide evidence of, a drop of 25% or more in monthly household employment income
    • Be paying more than 30% of current household income towards rent
  • Tenants must be renting a primary residence in British Columbia and the unit must be covered under the Residential Tenancy Act, the Manufactured Home Act, or the Cooperative Association Act.
  • Tenants are not eligible if their rent is subsidized by any other government program. Other government programs include: subsidized housing; rent supplements such as Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER) or the Rental Assistance Program (RAP); Income Assistance; and Disability Assistance.
  • Members of housing co-ops can get the benefit if they meet all other eligibility criteria. This criteria includes paying the full market housing charge, and the co-op cannot be getting any ongoing operating funding from the government.
  • To speak to someone about the BCTRS, please call:
    • Lower mainland: 778-452-2836
    • Toll Free: 1-877-757-2577
  • For more information and to apply, please visit: https://www.bchousing.org/BCTRS
6. Canada Student Loans
  • Effective March 30, 2020, all student loan borrowers will automatically have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause:
    • If you are registered for pre-authorized debit, they will be automatically stopped so you do not have to do anything.
    • If you are making payments by cheque or other means, you are not required to make payments during the suspension period.
    • If you want to continue making payments on your loan, you may do so by logging in to your secure NSLSC account and using the Make a Payment option or through online banking.
    • Interest will not be charged to borrowers on their student loans from March 30th, 2020 to September 30th, 2020.
  • Students who are currently studying can continue to apply for Canada Student Loans. There will be no change to the application process. If a borrower wishes to apply for student financial assistance during the pause, they should apply through their Province or Territory of residence.
7. B.C. Student Loans
8. BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
  • The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time $1,000 payment to people who lost income because of COVID-19.
    • B.C. residents who receive federal Employment Insurance, or the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit are eligible
    • Applications for the one-time payment will open soon
    • The one-time payment will be paid in May 2020
  • For more information, please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/covid-19-financia...
9. Climate Action Tax Credit
  • A one-time enhancement to the climate action tax credit will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low-income families:
    • An adult will receive up to $218.00 (increased from $43.50)
    • A child will receive $64.00 (increased from $12.75)
  • The climate action tax credit payments are non-taxable. This means that you don't include it as income when you file your income tax return
  • You're eligible to receive the credit if you're a resident of BC and you:
    • are 19 years of age or older, or
    • have a spouse or common-law partner, or
    • are a parent who resides with your child
    • (income thresholds apply)
  • You do not need to apply for the one-time enhanced July 2020 payment. Once income tax return for 2019 is filed, the CRA will advise if you’re eligible. If you are eligible for the climate action tax credit, you will receive the credit payment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The credit payment is combined with the federal goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit into one quarterly payment.
  • For more information, please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/income-taxes/personal/credits/c...
10. BC Hydro
  • Customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty through the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program
  • The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro's customer team at 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) to discuss bill payment options
  • Customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may also be eligible for BC Hydro's Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills
  • For more information, please visit: https://app.bchydro.com/accounts-billing/bill-payment/ways-to-pay/custom...
11. ICBC
  • Customers on a monthly payment plan who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty
  • Customers on a monthly Autoplan payment plan, who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19, can defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty
  • Due to high call volumes, customers are encouraged to use the online resources tool
  • If needed, you can call our customer support team at 604-661-2723 or 1-800-665-6442 to discuss your payment options
  • Effective March 25, you can now access the following transactions by phone at 1-800-950-1498 or 250-978-8300:
    • Renewing an existing BCDL
    • Reinstating a BCDL if your licence has been cancelled, prohibited or suspended and is now eligible for reinstatement
    • Issuing a replacement BC driver's licence
  • For more information, please visit: https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/contact-us/Pages/covid-19.aspx
12. Tax Relief for Businesses
  • The following provincial taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced:
    • Deferred Tax Payments for Businesses
    • Delayed PST Budget 2020 Tax Changes
    • Delayed Carbon Tax Increase
    • Reduced School Tax for Businesses
  • Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020:
  • Employer health tax
  • Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax*)
  • Carbon tax
  • Motor fuel tax
  • Tobacco tax
13. Income Assistance and Disability
  • If you are not receiving federal Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and are on:
    • Income Assistance
    • Disability Assistance
    • Comforts Allowance
    • BC Senior's Supplement
  • You will automatically receive a $300 supplement on your cheques issued in April, May, and June. No action is required on your part.
     
  • If you are receiving federal EI or the CERB and receiving:
    • Income Assistance
    • Disability Assistance
  • You will not be eligible for the $300 supplement. 
  • CERB and EI are temporarily exempt, meaning they will have no effect on your regular Income Assistance or Disability Assistance.
     
  • If you are on Disability Assistance and receiving the BC Bus Pass:
    • There is a current province-wide suspension of BC Transit and Translink bus fares
    • You will automatically receive the $52 Transportation Supplement on your cheque starting in April
    • This will continue for as long as BC Transit and Translink are suspending fares
    • No action is required on your part. Your bus pass will not be cancelled and will remain active for use on Sky Train and Sea Bus services. You will not need to re-apply once fares are re-instated
    • For people already receiving the Transportation Supplement of $52, there is no change and no action is required on your part
14. B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers
  • Apply now for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, a tax-free, one time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
  • To be eligible for the emergency benefit, you must:
    • Have been a resident of British Columbia on March 15, 2020
    • Meet the eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    • Have been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, even if you haven’t received a federal benefit payment yet
    • Be at least 15 years old on the date you apply
    • Have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return
    • Not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance
    • Not be incarcerated in a provincial or federal correctional facility for a period of 90 days or longer that includes March 15, 2020
  • If you're eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and receive a CERB payment, then return to work, you may still be eligible for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers if all other requirements are met, provided you are not required to repay the CERB benefit
  • To apply, please visit the BC Government site

Please note this list was up-to-date as of May 5, 2020. For more resources and the latest information, please visit:

Comments

HELLO
I AM SINGLE MOTHER AND WORKING AS HEALTH CARE WORKER AT HOSPITAL .I NEED HELP FOR PRIVATE CHILD CARE WHERE SHOULD I APPLY IN WHICH PROGRAM PLEASE LET ME KNOW

Hi M.Khan, there is temporary emergency child care for essential workers being provided by a number of organizations across Vancouver, including the YWCA. Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre is managing all referrals and matching parents with the providers. You can find out more and request a referral on their website: https://forms.wstcoast.org/s3/childcare-needs

I am a single grandmother looking after three of my grandchildren. I have been doing this for almost 4 years. I am now widowed for 2 and 1/2 years. I get 250 from income assistance 450 for survivors benefits. Yes I received the one time fat and am getting the one time Cctb payment That gives me 2000 that I need to spread out for however long this takes. I am now home schooling three children full time. I can’t afford the supplies to do what I need to do. Also kids are home full time so eating a lot more. Schools were offering lunch programs but I don’t drive and live in the country and can’t get access to them or the food bank. I still have all my bills to pay but not really extra as I have to spend money to get my groceries by way of cab fare. I’m really frustrated cause I don’t dare touch the extra in case my kids get sick. 45 $ cab fare to hospital or 130$ for ambulance.

Disability did not add $300 to there monthly checks.

Hi i am fro Mississauga, is there a financial aid for a single mom even of if did not stop work during Covid-19.

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