COVID-19 government relief for Albertans

Summary of key government relief options. While we update this information regularly, we recommend you refer to their websites for the most up-to-date information. Updated May 15, 2020.

Federal Government of Canada

Who is Eligible

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, this program will provide employed and self-employed Canadians with $500 a week for up to 24 weeks (benefit period is Mar 15, 2020 to Oct 3, 2020). It will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada age 15 or over who;
  • Stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits;
  • Had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the past 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Are 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 income.

On April 15, the 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.

CERB has been extended for 8 weeks for workers who:

  • Stopped working due to COVID-19 or
  • Are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or
  • Have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

How to apply (if applicable)

There are two ways to apply:

  1. Online or
  2. Over the phone via an automated service at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

NOTE: Both services are closed from 1:00 am to 4:00 am (Mountain time) for maintenance.

If you are eligible for the CERB, you can expect $2,000 ($500 per week) for a 4-week period (it is a single payment for a 4-week period). If your situation continues, you can re-apply for a payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 24 weeks (6 periods)

Who is Eligible

The federal government announced plans to work with provinces and territories through a new transfer to cost-share a temporary top up to the salaries of low-income workers (those who earn less than $2,500 per month on a full time basis) that have deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19. This intent is to provide the needed boost to those on the front-line in hospitals, those caring for seniors in long-term care facilities, those working hard to make sure there is food on shelves and tables, and others.

Further details to be announced soon.

Who is eligible

You may be entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits if you:

  • were employed in insurable employment
  • lost your job through no fault of your own
  • have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks
  • have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day
  • are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them)

How to apply (if applicable)

Apply online at www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/eligibility.html

Who is eligible

An extra $300 per child was delivered through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This benefit was delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment on May 20.

How to apply (if applicable)

You do not need to re-apply if you already receive the Canada Child Benefit.

Who is eligible

The federal government provided a one-time special payment through the Goods and Services Tax credit for eligible families. Recipients can expect to receive approximately $400 for single individuals and $600 for couples. On April 9, 2020, the one-time supplementary payment was automatically issued to those arleady receiving the GST/HST credit.

How to apply (if applicable)

On April 9, 2020, the one-time supplementary GST/HST credit payment was issued automatically to eligible recipients.

Who is eligible

If you are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate, the government will waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access the EI sickness benefits.

NOTE: Apply as soon as possible after you stop working. If you wait more than 4 weeks after your last day of work to apply, you may lose benefits.

How to apply (if applicable)

For more information and to apply online visit www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness/apply.html

Who is eligible

The federal government is providing a one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment of $600 to help Canadians with disabilities who are recipients of eligible programs or benefits. Seniors who are eligible for the one-time payment for persons with disabilities would receive a total of $600 in special payments.

How to apply (if applicable)

If you are eligible but never applied for the Disability Tax Credit, or your certificate expired in 2019, you must do so by September 25, 2020. Payments are expected to be issued beginning this fall.

Who is eligible

The federal government is reducing the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.

Who is Eligible

The federal government is temporarily extending Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed.

How to apply (if applicable)

To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.

Who is eligible

The federal government is providing a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). This measure would give a total of $500 to individuals who are eligible to receive both the OAS and the GIS.

How to apply (if applicable)

Eligible seniors did not need to apply, they should have received payment during the week of July 6.

Who is eligible

The federal government is deferring the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals.

For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.

They are also allowing any new income tax balances due, or instalments, to be deferred until after September 30, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.

Note: If you expect to receive benefits under the Goods and Services Tax credit or the Canada Child Benefit, you are encouraged to not delay your 2019 return filing to ensure that your entitlements are properly determined.

Who is eligible

Effective March 30, 2020 the government placed a six-month interest-free moratorium (until Sep 30, 2020) on the repayment of the federal portion of Canada Student Loans for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

  • If you are registered for pre-authorized debit, they will be automatically stopped so you do not have to do anything.
  • If you are making payments by cheque or other means, you are not required to make payments during the suspension period.
  • If you want to continue making payments on your loan, you may do so by logging in to your secure NSLSC account and using the Make a Payment option or through online banking.

Who is eligible

The federal government has announced a new program--Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)--intended to provide support to students and new graduates who are not be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance or unable to work due to COVID-19. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities and will be available from May to August 2020.

How to apply (if applicable)

There are two ways to apply:

Please have your Social Insurance Number handy when you apply.

Who is eligible

Changes have been made to the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) to allow more students to qualify for support and be eligible for greater amounts.

The changes include:

  • Doubling the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
  • Broadening eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21.
  • Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.

How to apply (if applicable)

Visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/education/student-aid.html for more information about Student Aid programs.

Who is eligible

The federal government is launching the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new CSSG will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.

How to apply (if applicable)

More details will be made available on the “I Want to Help” platform soon.

COVID-19

Our latest update on COVID-19, including customer relief programs and branch closures.

Provincial Government of Alberta

The Government of Alberta's Emergency Isolation Support program is now closed after successfully distributing about $91.7 million to 79,596 eligible Albertans since the launch of the program – close to double the amount originally allocated.

This was a temporary program to provide one-time funding until the Government of Canada announced its own support program. Please see the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which became available April 6, for information on eligibility and how to apply.

 

Who is eligible

The goverment is implementing a six-month, interest free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans.

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.

If you want to make payments during this time, you can do so through your online banking. Any payments you make will go towards your loan balance, and interest will continue to be waived until September 30, 2020.

Who is eligible

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.

This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. For example, those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.

How to apply (if applicable)

Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.

Need help?

Our Client Care team will be happy to assist.



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