COVID-19

Resources and Information 

This list is designed to put all essential information for those struggling financially from the covid-19 outbreak in one place, including municipal, provincial, and national supports. 

Municipal

Sherwood Park (Strathcona County)

For more information about closures and changes to municipal services in Strathcona County please refer to the link below.

Weblink:

https://www.strathcona.ca/council-county/news/covid19/

Residents and small businesses facing financial hardship who receive utility bills directly from Strathcona County may request utility bill payment deferrals, for up to three months with no penalties. The deferred amounts will be paid back over six months. This deferral option is available as of March 18 to June 20 bills

Weblink:

https://www.strathcona.ca/your-property-utilities/services-and-infrastructure/utility-rates/customer-billing/#payment

 

Provincial Supports

 

Emergency Isolation Support: Program now closed

Weblink: https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-isolation-support.aspx

 

90 Day Utility Deferral: Electricity and Natural Gas. The program is in effect from March 18, 2020 to June 18, 2020. 

Eligibility: This deferral option is open to anyone experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. The Alberta Government has made a commitment to ensuring that no Albertans will be cut off from services at this time. 

Weblink: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid19-90-day-utility-deferral.pdf

Student Loan Repayment Deferral: Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for six months, beginning March 30, 2020. 

Information: Interest will not accrue over the six-month period. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause. They may also choose to continue making payments during this period and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit. 

Weblink: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx

 

Education Property Tax Freeze: 

Information: Residential education property tax rates have been frozen to the 2019 level, reversing the Budget 2020 increase of 3.4%. This is projected to save households $55 million. 

Federal Supports

**This link is a general overview of Federal Supports available to Canadians. See below for more information about these supports**

 https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html

Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits: provides up to 15 weeks of income replacement for those who are eligible and unable to work due to injury, illness, or quarantine. You may receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week. 

Information: The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined. There is no need to provide a medical certificate to claim EI sickness benefits. EI claims can be backdated for those who cannot complete their claim due to quarantine. It is very important to FILE THE APPLICATION BEFORE CONTACTING SERVICE CANADA. This is to ensure that they are able to prevent delays and serve you more efficiently.

Eligibility: A claimant only needs to provide a declaration that a period of quarantine was imposed under the laws of Canada or a province by a person in authority to place themselves under quarantine instead of a medical certificate to access the EI sickness benefits.

 

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

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): This is now available. This benefit will be accessible to Canadians through a web portal, and through an automated telephone line. The Government will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to 4 months.

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Those who are 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.

  • Individuals are allowed to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.

  • CERB extends to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.

  • CERB extends to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

New changes to CERB:

  • Topping up pay for essential workers earning less than $2500 per month working full time

  • This program expanded on April 15, 2020 to cover seasonal and contract workers, people whose EI has recently run out and those who are currently and earning $1,000 or less per month.

Phone: 1-800-959-2019 OR 1-800-959-2041

Weblink: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

 

Canada Child Benefit: An increase of $300 per child for 2019-2020. This will amount to approximately $550 extra dollars for the average family. 

Information: 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.

Eligibility: You must live with a child under the age of 18, be primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of the child, be a resident of Canada for tax purposes, and you or your spouse/common-law partner must be any of the following: A Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, a protected person, a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the last 18 months, or an Indigenous person who meets the definition of “Indian” under the Indian Act.

 

Weblink: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/canada-child-benefit-overview/canada-child-benefit-before-you-apply.html#wb-cont-nav

 

Student Loan Repayment Deferral: Effective March 30, 2020 until September 30, 2020.

Information: 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. Students do not need to apply for the re-payment pause. Those currently studying can continue to apply for loans during this time. 

 

 

Special Goods and Services Tax Credit Payment: A one-time special payment by early May through the GST credit for low and modest-income families.

Information: 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, it will be automatically distributed. 

 

Deferral of Filing Due Date for Income Tax Returns

Information: The new due date for individuals to submit their 2019 tax returns is June 1, 2020. Any new income tax balances due may be deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties. This includes those who are self-employed and their spouse or common law partner. 

Weblink: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update.html

 

Reduced Minimum Withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds

Information: The Canadian Government is reducing the required minimum withdrawals from RRIFs by 25% for 2020. 

Weblink: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/registered-retirement-income-fund-rrif.html

 

Public Health-Related Emergency Supports Available for First Nations Communities: The FNIHB provides funding and expertise to First Nations communities for developing and maintaining hazard plans. On-reserve communities who require assistance in updating hazard plans should contact their ISC regional offices. 

Information: Communities are eligible to submit emergency eligible expenditures like the following, for example:

 

Community level infection prevention and control supplies (soap, sanitizer, community training); Medical Transportation under the NIHB program; Emergency Transportation and additional escorts under the NIHB program; Health human resources surge capacity (primary care nurses, paramedics, community workers); Mental health services; Adaptation of community space for surge capacity; Storage costs for supplies; On-the-land initiatives to support social isolation or food security.

Weblink: https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1584819394157/1584819418553#b

Programs for Businesses:

For businesses that had gross payroll of between $20,000 and $1.5 million in 2019 (the previous limits were $50,000 to $1.0 million), the federal government has launched Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) for assisting eligible small business and non-profit organizations with interest-free loans of up to $40,000. Applications for loans started on April 9, 2020, and can be made by businesses through their banks and credit unions. If the loan is repaid by Dec. 31, 2022, 25 per cent of it will be forgiven, up to $10,000. If the loan is not repaid by Dec. 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be converted to a three-year term loan at 5 per cent interest.

 

Weblink: https://ceba-cuec.ca/

On March 25, 2020 the 10 per cent temporary wage subsidy for employers was officially approved.  On April 11, 2020, the 75 per cent Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) also received official approval.

Weblink: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-wage-subsidy/cews-apply-guide.html

Income Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines:

Individuals (self-employed and others)
For individuals other than self-employed individuals, the tax return filing deadline for a 2019 personal income tax and benefit return is extended from April 30, 2020 to June 1, 2020.

For self-employed individuals or those who have spouses or common-law partners that are self-employed, the tax return filing deadline remains June 15, 2020.
For all individuals, the deadline to pay any tax owing for the 2019 taxation year is extended from April 30, 2020 to Sept. 1, 2020.
The deadline for any instalment payments due on June 15, 2020 is extended to Sept. 1, 2020.

Corporations - Federal corporate income taxes:
If a corporation’s tax return filing deadline is between March 19, 2020 and May 31, 2020, the deadline is extended to June 1, 2020 
If a corporation’s tax payment deadline is between March 18, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2020, the tax payment deadline is extended to Sept. 1, 2020.

Corporations - Alberta corporate income taxes:
If a corporation’s tax return filing deadline is between March 19, 2020 and May 31, 2020, the deadline is extended to June 1, 2020 
If a corporation’s tax payment deadline and instalment payment deadline is between March 18, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2020, the payment deadline is extended to Aug. 31, 2020 

Note there are no filing and payment extensions for payroll remittances.

 

Weblink: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/covid-19-filing-payment-dates.html

Corporations - GST/HST:

No extension for filing GST/HST returns.  However, no late filing penalty will be imposed where a return is filed late provided it is filed by June 30, 2020.

The deadline to remit GST/HST for the amounts due from March 27, 2020 to May 31, 2020 is extended to June 30, 2020

 

Weblink: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/support-employers-cra-covid-19.html

Banks and Mortgage Deferrals

Mortgage Deferrals

Watch this video by Innovative Mortgage Solutions for more info on mortgage deferrals.

If you have any additional questions about the video or how you may be affected, don't hesitate to visit their website at www.innovativemortgage.ca or call them at 780-416-1085

RBC:

RBC is offering a Financial Relief Program, encouraging clients to use the self-serve feature online, which will allow them to choose to skip a mortgage payment, an auto-loan payment, and a personal loan payment. These self-serve options should provide relief for approximately 1 month. The longer-term program includes up to 6 months of mortgage payment relief, though you must contact an advisor to discuss this option. 

Weblink: https://www.rbc.com/covid-19/index.html

 

TD:

Information: You may request to defer the equivalent of up to 6 monthly payments. By deferring, you are not paying the mortgage principal, and interest will be capitalized. You may apply for this deferral online and will be notified of your request by email. 

Weblink: https://www.td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/covid-19/

 

BMO:

Information: BMO has introduced a financial relief program for those impacted by COVID-19. There are flexible options for both personal and small business customers. BMO is offering up to a 6-month payment deferral on mortgages, loans, credit cards, and lines of credit with no fee. The payment will be deferred but interest will continue to accrue. There will be no changes to the terms of your BMO account. For those concerned about missing a payment, you may submit a request though the online banking Message Centre. For customers without access to Online Banking, there is an online form to complete.

Weblink: https://www.bmo.com/main/personal/bmo-branches-coronavirus-update/

 

Scotiabank:

Information: Scotia is offering financial relief including assistance with mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, and credit cards. Only those with payments due in the next week are asked to call the Contact Centre to prioritize urgent needs. Mortgage deferrals are NOT mortgage forgiveness, and interest will accrue over the deferral period, potentially increasing payments slightly after the deferral period ends. Documentation proving hardship is not necessary to apply. Your principal residence and up to 3 non-principal residences may be eligible for payment deferrals. Personal loans may be deferred for up to 3 months. Lines of credit and credit cards may be deferred for 3 months. In all instances, interest will accrue. 

Weblink: https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/personal/scotia-support/latest-updates/coronavirus-covid-19.html

 

CIBC:

Information: CIBC is advertising a 6-month payment deferral and relief on other credit products. Customers are being advised to contact their CIBC advisor or call the Support Centre. 

Weblink: https://www.cibc.com/en/personal-banking/advice-centre/covid-19.html

 

National Bank:

Information: NBC has put exceptional measures in place for those who need financial supports. Clients may submit a request using an online form. Measures concerning personal loans and credit cards will be announced soon. Student loans will be automatically adjusted for 6 months to support deferral. NBC is requesting that customers only call for essential financial needs, including lost credit cards, fraudulent transactions, and financial difficulties. 

Weblink: https://www.nbc.ca/personal/notice.html

 

ATB:

Information: ATB is offering help to clients who need to focus on day-to-day needs. They can help defer payments of ATB loans, lines of credit, and mortgages for a period of up to 6 months. RRSP Express and RRSP Max-It loans are not eligible for the deferral program. Interest will continue to accrue at the interest rate of your applicable loan, line of credit, or mortgage. Conditions apply. 

Weblink: https://www.atb.com/company/news/stories/customer-relief-program/

Phone:(780) 449-0900

Fax: (780)-416-2393

110, 222 Athabascan Ave, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 4C9, Canada

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