COVID-19 EMERGENCY SUPPORTS #6
Updated: March 30, 2020
This newsletter will reflect the current emergency supports being provided by the Federal, Provincial, Municipal and private sectors.
Any new additions from the previous edition will have the header "New Update"
Earn*Save*Build is a monthly compilation of Financial Empowerment activities in the Edmonton area. Your editor is Katie Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Family and Community Supports with the City of Edmonton; your comments and submissions are welcome. To subscribe, go to edmonton.ca/financialempowerment.
In This Issue:
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS
ALBERTA GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS
CITY OF EDMONTON SUPPORTS
BANKING AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
TOOLS, RESOURCES & SUPPORTS
COMPILED RESOURCE LISTS
LIVE: Finance Questions for Challenging Times with Kelley Keehn
FRIDAY April 4th from 1-2 p.m.
Join Kelley Keehn for a Facebook live event April 3,2021 at 1pm. Canada consumer advocate, Kelley Keehn, will be joined by and Jason Heath, CFP, fee-only financial planner. What do you do if you or your family have to liquidate assets to survive financially? What are simple solutions to get back on track? She will answer questions related to your investments, retirement and more.
To join click here or search on Facebook and scroll down to live feed.
Hosted by Kelley Keehn and FP Canada
For a complete list of Covid-19 Financial Resources from Kelley, click here
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS
A Step by Step Guide for All Governement of Canada Benefits
Compiled by Jennifer Robson, Associate Professor of Political Management, Carleton University using public information
This guide is in pdf format and provides an excellent layout in plain language about who qualifies for what Federal Government Programs (pages 3-13)
To read article about the list, click here
Together Against Poverty in Victoria, B.C. updates the Governement of Canada financial benefits on a regular basis and they are kindly sharing it with us. All phone numbers are available across Canada.
For pdf version, click here
***This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.
The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- You have stopped working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
- You have had to stop working and must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
- You have not been laid-off but you are not being paid because there is currently not enoungh work and your employer has asked you not to come to work.
- You earn wages through self-employment, including contract work and are otherwise not eligible for Employment Insurance.
This taxable benefit will provide $2,000 a month for up to 4 months and will be available starting in April. Get ready to apply by creating a CRA My Account today.
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.
Application details will be available through My CRA and My Service Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the application process should be launched by April 6th.
To read more, click here
EI CLAIMS: Employment and Social Development Canada:
Service Canada has set up a dedicated phone line for those who are employed who cannot work due to illness, injury or quarantine to set up EI claims due to COVID-19. 1-833-381-2725
The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
Priority EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine
People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay
For more information, click here
- Gather supporting documents – You must have your records of employment (ROEs), but a medical certificate won’t be necessary for those who have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine. Service Canada advises people to apply right away even if you don’t have these documents as you can send them in later.
- Complete the online application– This includes making sure you have: the names and addresses of your employers in the last 52 weeks, the dates employed with each employer and the reasons you’re no longer employed, and personal information including mailing address, Social Insurance Number (SIN), and banking information.
- Provide supporting documents- You can visit My Service Canada Account (MSCA) to view ROEs that have been issued to you by past and current employers.
- Receive access code by mail – Service Canada will mail you a benefit statement, which includes a 4-digit access code. You need this code and your SIN to get updates about your application and to complete biweekly reports.
- Review your application status
There is a high volume at this time at they are doing what they can to resolve this issue.
If you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits whether you are sick or quarantined and would like to have the one-week waiting period waived, call the new toll-free phone number below. It is important to note that no other request will be actioned on this phone line. We will take action only for sick or quarantined clients affected by the COVID-19 for which the application for sickness benefits has been filed.
- Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
- Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742
EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process.
Important notice: ALL Service Canada offices are now closed to the public
You should apply for Employment Insurance and Pensions online. You must submit Social Insurance Number requests by mail.
Income Tax Returns:
- All Canadians have until June 1, 2020 to file.
- Canadians owing this tax season will have until August 2020 to pay their tax bill.
- Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily recognize electronic signatures, effective immediately, to reduce necessity for taxpayers/tax preparers to meet in person and administrative burden, effective immediately. This provision applies to authorization forms T183 or T183CORP.
Individuals who qualify for the CVIT programs can also use the File my Return Website information
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will continue to offer this free service for the 2019 tax‑filing season to help eligible individuals with low or fixed income do their taxes.
With the File my Return service, eligible individuals will be able to file their income tax and benefit returns simply by giving some personal information and answering a series of short questions through an automated phone service.
File My Return is free, secure and easy to use. There are no paper forms to fill out or calculations to do.
Individuals with questions about the File my Return service can call the CRA’s individual tax enquiries line at 1-800-959-8281.
The CRA encourages individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit not to delay the filing of their return to ensure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
3 Tax Filing Changes Everyone Should Know
Read this great blog, created by Momentum in Calgary, with great tips, resources and contacts about tax filing.
Change #1 – Deadline to file taxes is now June 1, 2020
Change #2 – Get help with your taxes online and via phone, not in person
- You can find the full list of CRA contact numbers here.
Change #3 – Some benefits have changed and new ones are available.
An overview of the all Federal Governemtn Covid-19 Supports
Funding for shelter’s providing sanctuary for those who cannot self-isolate at home will be boosted.
$50 million, will be implemented in April and requires Royal Assent
If you need to speak with someone at a shelter near you, call our toll free line at
Health Canada now provides a First Nation and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line
Counseling is available in English and French, and upon request in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktut
Call 1-855-242-3310 to access the First Nation and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line
From the City of Edmonton: Domestic Violence in Times of Stress
Process for Applying for Emergency Protection Order (EPO)
As long as a person is symptom free, they can still apply for an EPO in person. They can go to the EPOP office which is on the 3rd floor of the Courthouse. This office is opened 9:00-4:30 Monday - Friday. They are able to download the forms that they will need to fill out if they have access to a computer (see below).
For afterhours, they are able to go to the Brownlee Building and talk to an after hours JP. To access the after hours support, they go to the west side of the building where there is a large metal door with a sign "Edmonton Hearing Office". They must ring the buzzer and then inform the person who answers that they are there to apply for an EPO.
If the individual has an open file with Children's Services, their worker can apply for an EPO on their behalf.
- Protection Order Questionnaire: a summary of why you are asking for a particular order
- Do not use your own address and phone number if you think it will put you in danger.
- You can use a friend’s address or a work address, but you should let the other person know if you’re using their address.
All Parks Canada facilities are temporarily closed, all visitor services and all motor vehicle access by visitors are suspended until further notice.
Parks Canada is calling on Canadians to support the national effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and stay home.
The Agency is temporarily suspending all motor vehicle access by visitors at all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas effective 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, until further notice. All visitor services remain suspended and all visitor facilities remain closed.
This means that all parking lots, vehicle services, trails, washrooms, day use facilities, showers, visitor centres, and all camping facilities, including oTENTiks, yurts and backcountry camping, are closed until further notice.
Highways and roadways which pass through Parks Canada places will remain open.
Parks Canada will limit its activities to basic critical operations.
ALBERTA GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS
Apply On-Line to Receive Support by Interac e-Transfer
MyAlberta Emergency Isolation Support:
- Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they are required to self-isolate or are the sole caregiver of someone in self-isolation and they have no other source of pay or compensation.
This is a temporary program to bridge the gap until the Federal Emergency Care Benefit is available in April.
If you are eligible for federal Employment Insurance benefits, you are strongly encouraged to apply immediately.
You are eligible for the emergency isolation support program if you:
- have experienced total or significant loss of income and are not receiving compensation from any other source because you:
- have been diagnosed with COVID-19
- have been directed by health authorities to self-isolate
- are the sole caregiver of a dependent who is in self-isolation
You are not eligible for this program if you:
- were not working immediately before you were advised to self-isolate
- can work from home
- are not experiencing a significant loss of income as a result of self-isolation
- are currently collecting other forms of income support or employer benefits while self-isolated, such as:
- are staying home to care for a dependent who is home for a reason other than self-isolation
- reside outside of Alberta
If you are not eligible for this program, other supports are available. How to apply
- Complete the initial online eligibility assessment. If you meet the general eligibility criteria, you will be able to continue through the application.
- You will then be required to sign in to or create a MyAlberta Digital ID (MADI) account to complete the application.
- If you already have a verified MADI account, you’ll progress to the next sections of the application.
- If you don’t have a verified MADI account, you can sign up during the application process using your Alberta driver’s licence or ID card number to confirm your identify.
- Complete the ID verification process on the same device on which you began – do not switch from computer to mobile.
- To confirm your ID from a computer, enter the ID manually, do not use the mobile QR code option.
- Once you confirm your identity, you’ll receive a notification that you will receive an activation code in the mail – you do not need to wait for the mailed verification code to complete your application for the Emergency Isolation Supports.
- After you confirm your ID, you will see a button to Sign In. Click the button to return to the Emergency Isolation Support application so you can proceed.
- If you don’t see the button, please launch the assessment again by following the link from this page. Once you sign in with your new MADI account, you will be able to complete the application.
Submit an application
If you need help completing your application, call Alberta Connects at 310-4455, open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm. Please be patient as call volumes may be high.
Supports for Tennants
Jason Kenney and Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish announced the measures during a press conference on Friday.
- Civil enforcements of evictions will be suspended for a month.
- "No one in Alberta will be evicted for non-payment of rent in the month of April," Glubish said.
- "Eviction protection will continue thereafter for the duration of the public emergency for tenants who work with landlords to establish meaningful and reasonable partial payment plans."
- Evictions of tenants who had not been able to pay rent for the last few months will also be suspended.
- In addition, landlords will not be allowed to raise rents while the public state of emergency is in effect and any rent increases that had recently been announced will be frozen until the state of emergency is lifted.
- The province also said that landlords would not be allowed to charge late fees for between April 1 and June 30.
ALBERTA COURT CLOSURES
To help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench is limiting hearings to emergency or urgent matters only.
To read update, click here
Day Care Support For Core Service Providers
The province of Alberta announced the plan to introduce 15,000 spaces across a selected group of daycare centres, starting next week. The spaces will be offered to parents employed in health care jobs and to parents who work in essential services like utilities, fire and police. These daycare centres must restrict their number of staff and adhere to strict health guidelines.
Albertans with surnames or company names beginning with B, D, G, Y will now have until May 15, 2020 to renew their vehicle registrations.
Albertans who have birthdays between March 17 and May 15 and whose cards expire this year, now have until May 15, 2020 to renew.
Expiry dates can be found on your card and Albertans with birthdays between March 17 and May 15 are encouraged to confirm whether or not they need to renew this year.
CITY OF EDMONTON SUPPORTS
Safe Speeds and Automated Enforcement
The Edmonton Police Service and the City of Edmonton have noticed a significant increase in speeding over the past week, particularly at extreme speeds. By driving at safe speeds, drivers can help ease the burden on police and health resources so they can focus on COVID-19. Enforcement will continue throughout the city to help keep our streets as safe and locations that have seen an increase in speeding will be prioritized. Please help us keep our roads and each other safe by slowing down.
Effective immediately, personal service businesses will be closed. Due to the nature of their business, tattoo parlours, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tanning salons and body rub centres cannot abide by the physical distancing rule and this Order is necessary to protect Edmontonians.
March 24, 2020
For your protection and safety, effective immediately, city-owned playgrounds will be closed. In addition drinking water and decorative fountains will not be turned on and the number of tables at picnic sites will be reduced or closed.
Spray parks will not be turned on at their normal seasonal time between April-May. We appreciate that this will disappoint many children and families. We’ve taken this step to ensure the safety of all Edmontonians.
In-person Service Changes at The City of Edmonton
All in-person services are reduced but we’re still here to help.
View Services List
You can still access a number of services online, by phone (311) or mail, including (but not limited to):
- Edmonton Transit Services
- Taxes and Assessment
- Permits and Licensing
- Landlord and Tenant Services
- Animal Care and Control
- Municipal Cemetery Services
- FOIP requests
- Ambleside Eco Station is temporarily closed
- The remaining Eco Stations will soon be shifting to extended hours and open seven days a week
- Paint exchange is not being accepted at any Eco Station until further notice
- Cash payments no longer accepted until further notice
Reuse Centre; Closed for business, including drop-offs, until further notice
Edmonton Waste Management Centre: Cash payments no longer accepted until further notice
Support For Homeless Individuals
In response to the public health need created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Edmonton, Community and Social Services, Alberta Health Services, Homeward Trust and community partners are working together to create a safe space at the Edmonton EXPO Centre for community members experiencing homelessness.
The EXPO Centre will welcome:
- Any person who is homeless and currently using shelters and is not exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms for day drop-in service from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., 7 days a week, beginning March 24.
- Any person who is homeless and currently using shelters and who is exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms at the isolation shelter.
The EXPO Centre is:
- Not open to the general public for regular day programming and other events
- Not open to the general public for medical care, COVID-19 testing or any other health matter
- Not open to the media, to provide the protection and privacy that everyone deserves
- Not for children or pets (alternative arrangements will be made for homeless families with children needing to self isolate)
The Edmonton EXPO Centre is not currently operating as an overnight shelter for individuals who do not require health services related to COVID-19. The overnight shelters in the city that are already in place will continue to operate and accept those individuals who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 and do not require isolation.
For more information, click here
As of March 21, 2020
- All transit services are FREE until further notice
- Included Bus, LRT and DATS
- Riders of buses are to entre at the back of the bus unless otherwise required
- Holders of March low-income Ride Transit Program passes will be able to use their passes throughout April.
- The option to delay residential and non-residential property tax payments until August 31 is available.
RECREATION CENTRE PASSES
- All recreation centres remain closed
Membership and Program Accommodation
Registered programs, swimming lessons, and leader-led drop-in programs are cancelled starting Saturday, March 14, until further notice. Prorated refunds will be given to those who have already registered for cancelled programs. Further information will be provided on how refunds will be processed.
Annual and continuous monthly membership holders can put a 60-day hold on their memberships during this time.
MULTI GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORTS
- A six-month interest-free moratorium will be placed on all Canadian student loans
Alberta Governement: Student loans repayment holiday
We are implementing a six-month, interest free, moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans.
Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020.
Interest will not accrue during this period. This mirrors the approach of the Canada Student Loans Program.
Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
Borrowers may continue making payments during this period if they choose and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit.
- Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments. To learn more, click here
Direct Energy: If people need assistance, please call 1-866-420-3174 to explore flexible payment options, extend payment dates or answer other questions.
EPCOR Water Payment Holiday: Edmonton residential customers can defer EPCOR water bill payments penalty and interest free for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off. The company will not disconnect customers who are in arrears. To apply: contact EPCOR at 780-310- 4300
BANKS and FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
ATB financial customers
Alberta Credit Unions
Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation
Banking Sector: Delay of 6 months on paying mortgages for hard-hit customers
banks in Canada have affirmed their commitment to working with customers to provide flexible solutions, on a case-by-case basis, for managing through hardships caused by recent developments.
This may include situations such as pay disruption, childcare disruption, or illness. Canada’s large banks have confirmed that this support will include up to a 6-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.
Mortgage Default Management Tools:The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) 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.
The Government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans.
TOOLS, RESOURCES & SUPPORTS
HOME DELIVERY SERVICES
1. Meals on Wheels: will deliver meals and groceries as well. https://mealsonwheelsedmonton.org/pages/the-grocery-bag
2. Fresh Routes: have adjusted some of their times. https://freshroutes.ca/
3. Men in Kilts, recently changed their business to give back during this difficult time, and offer free delivery. However, citizens should call to confirm the process.
4. Share the goods: Offering delivery and hampers. https://www.sharethegoods.ca/
5. Bag-Half-Full YEG volunteers aim to make groceries accessible for all with free grocery delivery!
- No-contact delivery: pay by e-transfer to email@example.com or cash (in envelope) upon delivery. Groceries will be left at the door.
- Order online: https://forms.gle/F5u4v1WNYh3vwoRv8
- Or call 780-952-7101
CYBER SECURITY ISSUES
Cyber security incidents involving malware and fraudulent activities, including identity theft, are being reported across Alberta in the wake of COVID-19.
- Anyone who receives a call asking for credit card information should hang up immediately and call the non-emergency line for local law enforcement.
- Albertans are encouraged to continue to exercise caution when clicking on links or providing personal information to people and organizations that request that information, unsolicited.
Managing financial well-being in tough times
This toolkit contains resources and information which may offer support to organizations, agencies, or frontline staff supporting individuals, during a challenging time.
This toolkit was developed in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and more resources will be added as they become available.
211 - Edmonton Information and Resources
Need info or resources related to COVID-19?
Need other resources? Find services in your community. click here
Help in Tough Times, We’re here to help: Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health Services has resources and services available to help you or someone you know. Remember, if you are struggling you are not alone. There are supports in place to help you.
For complete list, click here
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