Updated: March 19, 2020

In light of the recent situaiton with the Covid-19 Virus, I will be sending out a colated list on a regular basis about the emergecny supports being provided by the Federal, Provincial, Municipal and private sectors. 

There will be multiple changes made to benefits and application processes and we will send out updates as they happen.

Earn*Save*Build is a monthly compilation of Financial Empowerment activities in the Edmonton area. Your editor is Katie Walker ( with Family and Community Supports with the City of Edmonton; your comments and submissions are welcome.  To subscribe, go to

In This Issue:











For a chart with the changes to existing benefits 

click here


From How to Save Money: Coronovirus Updates and Resources

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

To learn more about how to apply, go to this CBC click here


Emergency Care Benefit:

  • For Canadians who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
  • Will provide money every two weeks to workers who have to stay home because they are sick, in quarantine, isolation or caring for someone who is sick.
  • The program will provide 14 weeks of benefits and will pay out at a comparable rate to what would be paid through Employment Insurance.


Emergency Support Benefit:

  • This benefit is aimed at Canadians who lose their job and are not eligible for employment insurance, including people who are self-employed.
  •  will be implemented in early April


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.



  • Boost maximum annual Canada Child Benefit payments by $300 per child for 2019-20. The increase will be about $550 on average for eligible families. Families will receive an extra $300 per child in their May payment.


GST Credit Supplement:

  • Provide a special GST Credit top-up payment by early May 2020 for individuals and families with low and modest incomes.

  • This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year.

  • The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.



  • Funding for the government’s ‘Reaching Home’ program is being doubled.


Indigenous Communities:

The Federal Government will create a distinctions-based Indigenous community support fund to specifically provide support for Canada’s Indigenous communities.


For seniors

  • Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.

  • This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.


For businesses

  • Export Development Canada: Additional support to companies impacted.

  • Farm Credit Canada: Will be boosted details to follow.

  • Canada Account: Will be boosted, details to follow.

Temporary Wage Subsidy:

  • The government will provide a subsidy to businesses for 10% of salaries paid to their employees for up to three months to encourage staff to remain on payroll.


Gender-based Violence: 

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

  • 1-866-331-3933

  • 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


For families still out of country:

Global Affairs Canada: Emergency Loan of up to $5000 for essential needs for Canadians who have no available source of funds to return home, Canada has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.

Eligible Canadians currently outside Canada and needing help to return home can contact the nearest Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available) or email





Emergency Isolation Support: 

  • This will be a temporary program for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta’s published criteria for self-isolation, including persons who are the sole care-giver for a dependent who must self-isolate because they meet the public health criteria, and who will not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.

  • It will be distributed in one payment installment and will bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April.

  • We expect the program to be available for a simple online application through next week and that funds will be deposited in the accounts of eligible recipients beginning at that time.

More information on how to apply will be available next week.


Vehicle Information

Vehicle registration:

  • Albertans with surnames or company names beginning with B, D, G, Y will now have until May 15, 2020 to renew their vehicle registrations.

Driver's licences

  • 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.





  • Hholders of March low-income Ride Transit Program passes will be able to use their passes throughout April. Decisions about other transit passes are expected in the coming days.
  • Pass Pick up: no longer at Recreation Centres and exploring options if needed
  • Lowering rates options will be looked after March 30th by City council



  • 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.


City of Edmonton COVID-19 UPDTES: click here



Student Loans

Federal Government: 

  •  A six-month interest-free moratorium will be placed on all Canadian student loans

Alberta Governement: Student loans repayment holida

  • 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.

Direct Energy:

  • If people need assistance, please call 1-866-420-3174 to explore flexible payment options, extend payment dates or answer other questions.


ATB financial customers

  • Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.

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.




Sender of CEM: City of Edmonton, Citizen Services, P.O. Box 2359 Edmonton, AB, T5J 2R7

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This mail out contains information provided by a party other than the City of Edmonton. The City of Edmonton does not make any representations or warranty about the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of this material. The City of Edmonton does not endorse the information contained herein and will not be liable for any reliance thereon.

Your name, email address and phone number is collected in accordance with 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. Your personal information will be used to provide you with the online City of Edmonton, Financial Empowerment Newsletter. If you have any questions about the collection and use of your personal information, contact Katie Walker 780-944-5469, Family and Community Supports, 18th Floor, Edmonton Tower, 10111 - 104 Ave., NW, Edmonton, T5J 0J4.