Find Government Benefits
The Government of Canada has released a web-based benefits finder tool to help people living in Canada determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs. The tool includes provincial benefit programs.
The CBC has created an online hub of benefits the federal government, provinces and territories are offering to people financially affected by the coronavirus. By answering a few simple questions, you can find out which benefits are available to you.
Emergency Assistance - If you are in an emergency situation and you live in Ontario, you might be eligible for Emergency Assistance. The amount you get will depend on your specific situation.
Please note that this program is now more flexible due to COVID-19, so even if you have not been able to access it before, you may be able to now. The limit on receiving funding only once in a six-month period has been suspended, and people can receive the funding for up to 48 days without submitting a full Ontario Works application. Individuals can apply for these benefits at Ontario.ca/community.
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program - The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) provides support to residential customers struggling to pay their energy bills because of the COVID-19 emergency. CEAP provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. There is an application webform available on www.londonhydro.com. Customers can complete the form directly online, print the form for completion and mail in, or contact London Hydro customer service at 519-661-5503 to have an agent complete the form on the customer's behalf with the customer on the line.
Ontario Works clients who do not report income will no longer be automatically suspended, and will not require hard copy identification for the time being. OW and ODSP staff also have more flexibility in providing discretionary benefits, and to approve extensions to Special Diet Allowance, Mandatory Special Necessities benefits and medical transportation/supplies without endorsement from a health professional.
One-time payment - Families can access a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs. This intended to help pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can apply here. (Note: If you are a parent who received Support for Parents payments during teacher's strikes through direct deposit, you will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.)
GAINS - The province will also double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.
OSAP - Individuals with Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans will not be required to make payments from March 30, 2020 to September 30, 2020, and interest will not accrue during that period.
Suspension of Child Care Fees - An emergency order was issued to prevent child care operators from charging fees where care is not being provided while also ensuring that child care spaces are protected. Licensed child care facilities, with the exception of those accommodating health care and other frontline workers, were ordered closed to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep the children and child care staff safe. The order also means that parents cannot lose their child care space because they are not paying fees during this period.
Please contact my community office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-657-3120 for more information or help with these programs.
The federal government announced a package of measures to support families and businesses. Click here for more information on when and how to apply for these benefits, and whether or not you are eligible. Available support includes the following:
Worker Support - The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide COVID-related income support to many people who would not otherwise have qualified for Employment Insurance.
Contact the new dedicated toll-free phone number if you are in quarantine and seeking to waive the one-week EI sickness benefits waiting period so you can be paid for the first week of your claim:
- Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
- Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742
Income Taxes - If you owe after you file your taxes, you have until August 2020 to make payment.
Family Support - Parents will get a top up of Canada Child Benefit of $300 per child, and low-income Canadians will receive increased GST credit for $400 for single adults; $600 for couples; $150 for every additional child.
Students - 6-month student loan repayment deferral, no accrual of interest.
City of London Supports for Basic Needs - Comprehensive list of community services and contact information for people who need help with basic needs