COVID-19 EMERGENCY SUPPORTS #12
Updated: APRIL 30, 2020
This newsletter will reflect the current emergency supports being provided by the Federal, Provincial, Municipal and private sectors.
Starting with the 7th Edition, all New Updates will be listed at the top of the page and additions from previous editions will follow in the various categories listed under "In This Issue."
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. There will be no regular monthly newsletter until further notice.
To subscribe, go to edmonton.ca/financialempowerment.
AISH, Income Support and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
AISH and Income Support recipients who have lost work and income because of COVID-19 can exempt a portion of the Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), if they receive it. This means a portion of the CERB payment will not affect their provincial benefits.
Maximum income exemptions for AISH clients who receive the CERB:
- Single: Fully exempt $300; 25% on remaining amount
- Family (souse and/or dependents: Fully exempt $875; 25% on remaining amount
Maximum income exemptions for Income Support clients who receive the CERB:
- Single adult household: Fully exempt $230; 25% remaining amount
- Two adult household: Fully exempt $115 per adult; 25% remaining amount
- Amount earned by each dependent not in school: up to $350 per dependent; 25% on remaining amount
For more information about the exemptions, call your AISH or Income Support caseworker, or the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.
University of Alberta: Money Talks eNews
The current financial climate can be difficult to navigate. We’ve compiled a list of what you need to know to successfully manage your finances during this time.
April Newsletter, click here
Community and United Way respond to technology needs during COVID-19
BGCBigs and the United Way are working together to provide laptops for students who do not have access during the Covid-19 to be used at home for their educational needs while education is being provided online due to the need to self-isolate.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, United Way helped dozens of other students from other socially vulnerable neighbours who were also in need of technology to continue their schooling.
United Way is still accepting laptop and desktop donations to help others across the Capital Region. There is currently a waiting list of schools and agencies requesting access to computers to offer distance learning, provide programming and to share information.
If you would like to donate technology, please email email@example.com or call United Way at 780-990-1000. Alternatively, monetary donations can be made to the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
REACH EDMONTON COVID-19 COMMUNITY RESOURCE DATABASE
REACH aims to support our communities and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic by sharing the information and resources that matter most to them. We encourage you to explore the following page and access the resources to meet the needs you and your community are facing.
Are you experiencing something that we do not have the resources for below? Let us know and we'll find it for you!
City of Edmonton
Community and Non-Profit Supports for Edmontonians
Edmonton’s resiliency is possible through the extensive and collaborative efforts of community groups and non-profits to deliver a wide range of public social services. To learn more, please call 211 or visit this provincial directory of the community, health, social and governmental organizations and services.
The information will be updated as new information becomes available. Please check back regularly for updates.
For resources, click here
City of Edmonton: Sports Fields
Updated April 27, 2020
Effective April 27, tennis courts, pickleball courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, disc golf and premier sports fields are closed. This is to ensure the health and safety of Edmontonians and to meet provincial orders around physical distancing.
Park spaces like baseball diamonds and soccer fields will be open to the public for casual use only starting May 1, weather permitting. Users must adhere to 2 metre physical distancing rules, ensure gatherings are kept to 15 people or less and avoid or limit touching commonly touched surfaces like sporting equipment.
COVID-19 Alberta Financial FAQs, tips and resources
In This Issue:
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS
ALBERTA GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS
CITY OF EDMONTON SUPPORTS
TOOLS, RESOURCES & SUPPORTS
Online Conference: The Economic and Social Impacts of COVID-19 on Newcomers to Canada
Friday, May 1, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Join us on May 1st where we will explore the impact that COVID-19 has had on newcomers to Canada. We will hear from representatives from The Canadian Senate, Statistics Canada, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, The Canadian Commission for UNESCO, The University of Manitoba and other experts in the country.
Hosted by Metropolis Canada and the COVID-19 Social Impacts Network. The COVID-19 Social Impacts Network is a multidisciplinary group of some of the country’s leading experts to help identify key issues, indicators and socio-demographics to generate evidence-based responses that address the social and economic dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis in Canada.
To register, click here
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS
An overview of the all Federal Government Covid-19 Supports
CBC News: Financial help for Canadians hub of benefits: click here
Canadian Emergecy Response Fund (CERB)
If you are laid off due to Covid-19...
Whether temporary or permanent, the minute your work ends, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Those who have been laid off since March 15 can no longer apply for EI, though you can receive EI benefits once the CERB program ends.
Benefits will start within 10 days of submitting your application. There is no waiting period before the money is paid out to you, unless you opt to receive the benefits by cheque, then you’ll wait for the mail delivery. The direct deposit option is much faster.
How to apply for CERB
You can do it online with CRA My Account. Or you can call the automated toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019. In either case, have your social insurance number (SIN) and your postal code ready.
Apply for the CERB
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
On April 15, the Federal Government announced changes to the eligibility rules to:
- Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
- Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
- Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.
- An online questionnaire will help us direct you to the service option that best fits your situation (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits or not).
- Do not apply for the CERB if you have already applied for EI.
- Only apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – not both.
If you are not sure where you should apply, start here
New Updates will be coming in the next few days...
Canadian Emergency Student Benefit
The new benefit aims to provide financial support to Canadian students and young people who are negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The CESB also seeks fill the support gap for students not covered by the country’s other COVID-19 benefits programs.
Who is eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit program?
- Post-secondary (college and university) students who are currently in school, are planning to start school in September 2020, or who graduated from school in December 2019 are eligible for the CESB if they have lost work or cannot find work due to the pandemic.
- Working students that are earning less than $1,000 per month are also able to apply for the benefit if their hours have been cut due to COVID-19.
How much will the Canada Emergency Student Benefit provide?
- Postsecondary students who qualify for the CESB will receive $1,250 a month from May to August 2020.
- The amount will increase to $1,750 per month if you are caring for somebody, or if you have a disability. (This amount could be changed to $2000 per month)
- The Canada Revenue Agency will handle payments for the program.
Can I apply for the benefit right now?
- The federal government still needs to pass legislation in order to activate the CESB program. They are currently working on quickly bringing a bill forward to make the funds available as soon as possible.
- We expect the Government of Canada to make more information available online in the days to come.
Additions Supports to Students:
- an additional 76,000 jobs for young people in sectors that need an extra hand right now, or that are on the frontlines of this pandemic;
- Investing more than $291 million to extend scholarships, fellowships, and grants for three or four months;
- Launching a new Canada Student Service Grant of between $1,000 and $5,000 for students volunteering in the COVID-19 fight;
- Providing more than $75 million to specifically increase support for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Nation students; and
- Doubling the student grants that the government gives out for the 2020-21 school year.
Income Tax Returns:
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.
Changes to taxes and benefits: click here
- 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.
Edmonton Income Tax Sites still open:
From the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, see sites available
For Clients of CEASE (Centre to End all Sexual Exploitation), click here
Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program to help businesses and young Canadians affected by COVID-19
The Canada Summer Jobs program will now provide private and public sector employers with up to 100 per cent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee. Employers are also now allowed to hire staff on a part-time basis.
Who can apply: Applications closed in February. They were open to students between the ages of 15 and 30 years old. Those who completed the process can check this site for job postings.
Available: Job placements could begin as early as May 11, 2020. The period a person can be employed under the program has been extended to February 28, 2021.
To learn more, click here
Service Canada is here to help:
If an individual that you support requires assistance with one of our critical services and benefits they can complete a service request form at: Canada.ca/service-canada-e-service. Once the service request is submitted, a Service Canada representative will contact the individual within 2 business days at the phone number they indicate.
If your community members or individuals within your network do not have access to the internet or face other barriers, a Service Canada Outreach Support Centre will ensure they get access to the critical benefits they need. The outreach support center can be accessed by calling 1-877-631-2657. Outreach workers are available to assist from 8:30am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday.
Federal government support for Indigenous businesses announced:
The funding will allow for interest-free loans, as well as non-repayable contributions, to help Indigenous businesses unable to access the government’s existing COVID-19 support measures. Additional funding will help Aboriginal Financial Institutions cover operational expenses, and help the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association increase its operational capacity.
To read full announcement, click here
ALBERTA GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS
Links to All COVID-19 support for Employers and Employees
MyAlberta Emergency Isolation Support is Now Closed
Government of Alberta Announcements:
Mental Health and Addiction COVID-19 Community Funding grant
Increase support to Continuing Care Centres
Additional funding will be used to:
- Increase health-care aide staffing levels;
- Provide a wage top-up of $2 per hour for health-care aides;
- Create up to 1,000 paid student practicum positions to fast-track certification and get more staff into continuing care facilities.
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
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
City of Edmonton: Community Development Special Edition
For latest newsletter, click here
- 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
TOOLS, RESOURCES & SUPPORTS
Compiled Community Resource Lists:
211: click here
Edmonton Social Planning Council: click here
Edmonton Food Security Resources: click here
Addiction and Mental Health Supports: click here
Alberta Health Services: click here
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (for workers and renters): click here
Covid-19 Supports for Seniors
Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council Resources: click here
Scams and frauds information: click here
Places that are open in Edmonton:
Local businesses are finding innovative ways to serve our community. Show your support in a time that has turned our whole world upside-down. This initiative was developed to help small businesses communicate what they are doing to pull through the crisis.
City of Edmonton, Community Wellness Social Workers
During the COVID-19 crisis, the City of Edmonton is offering free professional consultation with a social worker. Our team provides information on how to access community and municipal services and help you navigate through complex questions by listening to you and trying to understand your needs.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By phone at a confidential intake line at:
Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 12:00pm, 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm.
If you are in crisis or requiring immediate support please contact emergency services. DISTRESS LINE: 780-482-HELP (4357) or 911.
Financial Institutions Update
All financial institutions have Covid-19 financial information on their websites and cover a wide range of topics to help people deal with their current financial situation. As front line, essential service providers, financial institutions are experiencing a high volume of customers both in person and on the phone.
Indigenous Covid-19 Supports in Alberta
Interim COVID-19 Support Plan for all Metis in Alberta includes a citizens, families, and seniors direct support plan, a child benefit program, an emergency rent supplement program and a benevolent fund top-up. More information here.
The Métis Nation of Alberta and Rupertsland Institute have launched a province-wide initiative with the College of Alberta School Superintendents to provide Chromebook devices to help Métis students participate in Alberta Education’s virtual K to 12 classrooms during COVID-19. More information here.
To assist the Federal Indian School Class Action, Gowling WLG International Law Firm is providing members who have claim forms with Community Assistance Sessions through Zoom. Register here for the Alberta and NWT session on Tuesday, April, 28 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Read the CBC article here.
The Métis Nation of Alberta provides scholarships to reward outstanding academic achievement. The scholarship application deadline is Wednesday, October 31.
Telecom Provider Covid-19 Supports
Telecoms companies such as Telus, Shaw and Rogers are offering flexible payment options. Check with your telecom provider to see what offerings are available.
Insurers Reducing Insurance Costs
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) member companies are offering substantial consumer relief measures. For consumers whose driving habits have changed significantly, IBC member companies are offering reductions in auto insurance premiums to reflect this reduced risk. The reductions will continue for the next 90 days.
To learn more, click here
Supports for Gender-based Violence:
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
Financial Literacy Resources: ABC Life Literacy Canada
Managing financial well-being in tough times
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