What the Federal Stimulus Package Means for You

Posted March 20, 2020

We heard the Federal Government releasing an Economic Response Plan to help people deal with the crisis due to COVID-19. Here is a quick summary of what the economic package has to offer.  However, ACORN Members and Leaders feel there are substantial gaps between what people need and what they will get with the stimulus package. Click here to take action demanding a Rent Freeze and more!

Federal stimulus summary:

  • $27 billion in direct support to workers and businesses
  • $55 billion for liquidity for businesses and households through tax deferrals
  • Total $82 billion - 3% of Canada's GDP--- Two-thirds of this total is actually the tax deferrals (for up to 4 months) for $55 billion worth of personal and business income tax obligations.

WORKER SUPPORT:

Employment Insurance (new changes)

  • The one-week waiting period for individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits has been waived off as of March 15, 2020.
  • No requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
  • To apply for EI benefits, you can visit the website. Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government's toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725, or teletypewriter at 1-800-529-3742. 

Emergency Care Benefit 

  • For anyone who is ill, who is self-isolating, who is in quarantine, who is caring for someone who is ill or who had to take off time due to school closures.
  • About $450 a week, paid bi-weekly, starting around April 1 (prior income doesn’t matter)
  • Application will be online; no medical test to prove eligibility
  • 14 weeks of payments - that puts end to support by late June 2020
  • You’ll have to apply for the EI or EI sickness benefit first, but if that’s denied you’ll get this one instead. You’ll be able to apply in April through the CRA MyAccount portal

Emergency COVID Self Benefit (support Benefit) will act as a catch all for anyone to whom the above does not apply 

  • Will include self-employment and sole proprietorship businesses
  • Similar to the Emergency Care Benefit, most likely, people will have to apply for EI first, be denied and then move to this secondary system.
  • No details on amounts yet but it may also be equivalent to the EI benefit of 55% the salary or maximum benefit of $573 per week. 
  • You’ll be able to apply in April through the CRA MyAccount portal

INCOME TAXES:

  • If you owe after you file your taxes, you have until August 2020 to make payment

FAMILY and Individuals other SUPPORT:

  • 12 million Canadians eligible
  • Parents will get top up of Canada Child Benefit (CCB). The May 20 CCB payment will be at most $300 more per child that time only (the CCB value falls as incomes increase).  
  • Low-income Canadians will receive increased GST credit for $400 for single adults; $600 for couples; $150 for every additional child. This will be an emergency one-time payment of at most $300/adult and $150/child (as you make more, you’ll get less). Those are actually the amounts for the GST credit for the year, so people will get an extra entire years’ worth of payments in a single payment in May.

STUDENTS:

  • 6-month student loan repayment deferral. But many students who have private bank student loans will have to keep making those payments.

SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES

  • New funds will be available for women’s shelters, homeless shelters and Indigenous communities. Many of these people are already in difficult situations and this crisis will only make things worse.

 

Click here to take action demanding a Rent Freeze and more!

 

 

Sign up for ACORN's newsletter