CORONAVIRUS

COVID-19

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS FOR INDIVIDUALS
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Welcome!  Here you will find a list of resources information available for individuals affected by COVID-19.  You will find links to programs, contacts, application forms, and further details on various supports, relief, and funding.

As new information emerges, we’ll endeavor to keep our website updated so that you remain as informed as possible.  Alternatively, you can opt to SUBSCRIBE to have bulletins automatically delivered to your inbox.

While NmTC has made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this site has been obtained from reliable sources, we are not responsible for errors or omissions and can not guarantee accuracy, timeliness, or the results obtained from the use of this information. The Covid-19 situation is changing daily. 

BC Emergency Benefit for Workers

Last Updated: May 2, 2020 

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time, tax-free, $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.    

 

Find Out If You're Eligible 

To be eligible for the emergency benefit, you must: 

  • Have been a resident of British Columbia on March 15, 2020 

  • Meet the eligibility requirements for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) 

  • Have been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, even if you haven’t received a federal benefit payment yet 

  • Be at least 15 years old on the date you apply 

  • Have filed, or agree to file, a 2019 B.C. income tax return 

  • Not be receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance 

  • Not be incarcerated in a provincial or federal correctional facility for a period of 90 days or longer that includes March 15, 2020 

If you're eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and receive a CERB payment, then return to work, you may still be eligible for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers if all other requirements are met, provided you are not required to repay the CERB benefit. 

If you receive a payment and we later determine that you are not eligible for it, you may be required to repay it with penalties and interest. 

What You Need To Apply 

Your Social Insurance Number 

When you apply, we'll need your Social Insurance Number (SIN), Individual Tax Number (ITN), or Temporary Tax Number (TTN) to verify your eligibility. 

Your direct deposit information 

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will only be issued by direct deposit, ensuring you receive the benefit as soon as possible.  

Obtain your direct deposit information before the application period begins. The image below shows how to find the relevant numbers on a cheque.  (See Sample below) 

If you don't use cheques, contact your financial institution to get the numbers. It's important to enter your bank account information correctly. 

The $1,000 payment will be made by direct deposit to your personal bank account within 10 business days.  

An approved Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) 

If you haven’t applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit yet, you must apply for it now as this is one of the eligibility requirements for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers. 

If you became eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits due to COVID-19 on or after March 15, 2020, your EI claim may have been automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. If you’re not sure, you can confirm by calling Service Canada at 1-833-699-0299. 

 

Apply Now 

You have until December 2, 2020 to apply. You can expect to receive payment within 10 business days after your application is approved. 

You will be  notifed by email when your payment has been processed. 

Documentation isn't required when you apply. However, all applications will be verified and you may be asked for proof of your eligibility at a later date. 

Online applications 

You can apply online starting May 1, 2020. Applying online is safe, secure and only takes minutes. 

  • You can apply anytime, from anywhere, using any device, including your smart phone 

  • Applying online is the fastest way to get your benefit 

  • Your personal information is protected and secure when you apply 

 

Application Tip 

  • When you enter your address, you’ll be asked for a valid postal code.  If the application doesn’t find a verified address for you, click or tap the red “Unverified” button to continue. (see sample below) 

 

 

 

  • If your mailing address and residential address are the same, you can choose to continue with both addresses unverified. 

Telephone applications 

You can apply by telephone with the help of agents starting May 4, 2020. This option is for people who don’t have internet access or have other accessibility needs. 

If you apply by phone, we will complete the application with you over the phone and give you a confirmation number when you’re done. 

We anticipate high call volumes and strongly recommend applying online if you can. 

Call Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm: 

  • 1-855-955-3545 (within BC only) 

  • 1-778-309-4630 (outside B.C.) 

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BC Hydro Customer Assistance Programs

Last Updated: April 28, 2020 

Customer Assistance Program

Customers may be eligible to defer payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty through the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program.  Customers are encouraged to call BC Hydro's customer team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss bill payment options.

 

Customer Crisis Fund

If you're a residential customer experiencing a temporary financial crisis, such as a loss of employment or benefit income, unanticipated medical expenses, or a death in the family and you've fallen behind on your BC Hydro bill, you may be eligible for a grant payment to avoid disconnection of your service. To receive a grant from the Customer Crisis Fund, you need to meet a few criteria:

 

• You need to be the residential account holder.

  • Only your primary residence is eligible.

  • Your account must have overdue payments and be facing disconnection. Your current bill isn’t eligible for a CCF grant if it is not overdue or if there are credits on the account.

  • You must have experienced a life event, within the last 12 months, that caused a temporary financial crisis.

  • To apply for a grant, you need to have an outstanding balance of $1,000 or less, and should have demonstrated some attempt to make payments towards your bill.

  • You may receive one CCF grant per account-holder annually (one per year). If a grant application is denied and your circumstances change, you can apply again in the same year.

 

Sample application:

COVID-19 Relief Fund

If you or your spouse/partner have stopped working due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for three months of bill credit based on your average consumption.  Eligible customers can apply any time until June 30, 2020 to receive the credit.

 

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Relief Fund for residential customers:

  • You need to be a residential account holder and have had your account as of March 31, 2020

  • You need to be eligible for Employment Insurance, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers

  • You or your spouse/partner have stopped working due to COVID-19. Examples of being unable to work:

    • Being laid off

    • Workers that remain attached to their company but are without employment income

    • Being unable to continue earning self-employment income

    • Being quarantined or sick with COVID-19

    • Taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19

    • Having children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures​

  • You must be able to upload verification of eligibility, such as your approval for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, approval for Employment Insurance, or a supporting document for your Canada Emergency Response Benefit application such as a record of employment or a closure letter from your child's daycare  Your average monthly electricity consumption must not exceed 2,500 kWh

There is a maximum of one COVID Relief Fund bill credit per household. 

Sample Application:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Last updated: April 28, 2020

The Government of Canada will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to eligible workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.  This will be backdated to March 15, 2020. 

 

A short questionnaire will help direct you to the service option that best fits your situation (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits versus CERB).  Note:  do not apply for the CERB if you have already applied for EI.

 

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;  

  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;

  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and

  • Who are or expect to be 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 or self-employment income

 

Apply for the CERB

 

You can apply over the phone: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041 or online.

 

To begin the application process, you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire, which will direct you to the service option corresponding to your situation (see sample below).   
 

Child Tax Benefit Increase

Last updated May 5, 2020

 

The Government of Canada is providing up to an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. 

This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May 2020.

Those who already receive the CCB do not need to re-apply

Families that are entitled to receive the CCB for April 2020 and still have an eligible child in their care in May 2020 will get up to $300 extra per child as part of their regular May 2020 payment.

This is a one-time increase to the May CCB payment for the 2019-20 benefit year (July 2019 to June 2020).

How to Apply Online

 

Processing time: within 8 weeks

  1. Log in to My Account with your personal CRA account (see Sample below)

  2. Go to “Apply for child benefits”

  • 1. Confirm your contact information, your marital status and your citizenship

  • 2. Add your child’s name, gender, date and place of birth

  • 3. Review and submit your application

If you're asked to submit additional documents, go to "Submit documents" in My Account


Applying In Person and By Mail

 

Application can also be done when you register the birth of a newborn.  In most cases, registration is done by paper at the hospital or birthing centre.  

 

Application can also be done by mail by printing and filling out Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application and mailing to your tax centre. (See sample below).

Climate Action Credit Increase

Last updated: April 28, 2020

A one-time enhancement to the Climate Action Tax Credit (designed to offset the impact of carbon taxes paid by individuals or families) will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low income families: 

  • An adult will receive up to $218.00 (increased from $43.50)

  • A child will receive $64.00 (increased from $12.75)

Claiming the Credit You're eligible to receive the credit if you're a resident of B.C. and you:

  • are 19 years of age or older, or

  • have a spouse or common-law partner, or

  • are a parent who resides with your child.

 

If you are eligible for the climate action tax credit, you will receive the credit payment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The credit payment is combined with the federal goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) credit into one quarterly payment.

 

***For the 2014 and subsequent tax years, you don't need to apply for the B.C. climate action tax credit.  When you file your income tax return, the CRA will determine your eligibility and advise you if you are eligible to receive the credit***

Emergency Funding Support for Students

Last updated: April 28, 2020

Students attending British Columbia’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, who are experiencing emergency financial pressures, will benefit from a one-time investment of $3.5 million in emergency financial assistance.

 

Students who attend one of B.C.’s 25 public post-secondary institutions can access these funds by contacting their school’s financial aid office, which will assist with the application process. Each post-secondary institution will determine the specific amount a student can receive based on their individual needs.

Student Aid

Effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020.  During this time, no payment will be required, and interest that currently applies to the federal portion of student loans will not accrue.  

 

Repayment will be paused automatically, so borrowers do not need to apply to have their repayment suspended

 


Canada Emergency Student Benefit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) program on Wednesday, April 22.  This also includes more than $75 million to specifically increase supports for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Nation students 

   
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.

 

The following information is based on early media reports about the CESB.

 

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. The Canada Revenue Agency will handle payments for the program.

 

Can I apply for the benefit right now?

Trudeau said during his press conference that that 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 soon. 
 

Extended Time to File Tax Returns

The filing due date for 2019 income tax returns for individuals has been deferred until June 1, 2020.  Any new income tax balances due, or installments, are also being deferred until after August 31, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties. For further details on all tax filing and payment dates (see Sample below):


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

Housing Rent Support​

last updated: April 28th, 2020

Evictions

Most evictions are not allowed during the state of emergency.  

  • Notices to end tenancy cannot be given for any reason during the state of emergency

  • In exceptional circumstances, a landlord may apply directly to the Residential Tenancy Branch to end the tenancy 

 
Temporary Rent Supplement

The temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month.

  • It will be available directly to low-to-moderate-income renters/landlords who are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis but do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs

  • Applications for the supplement are now available on the BC Housing website  (See Sample Below)

Mortgage Support

Last updated: April 29th, 2020

Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19.  Individuals who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution to find out more details.  Consult your bank's dedicated COVID-19 page (see Sample below):

RRIF AND RPP REDUCTION OF MINIMUM WITHDRAWALS 

Last updated: April 29, 2020

The Government of Canada has reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 percent for 2020.  This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements.  This also applies to individuals receiving variable benefit payments from a defined contribution registered pension plan (RPP) and a pooled registered pension plan (PRPP).

Special Goods and Services Tax Credit Payment

The Government of Canada is providing a one-time special payment starting April 9, 2020, through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. 

There is no need to apply for this payment.  If you are eligible, you will get it automatically

 

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COVID-19

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS TOOLKIT  FOR INDIVIDUALS

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice or as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed professional. Although we are attempting to provide up-to-date information from recognized sources, Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council (NmTC) makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability of the information, products, services, or related graphics provided on this page or found by following a link on this page to an external website. Any action you take based on information on this page is strictly at your own risk, and NmTC will not be liable for any losses and damages arising from the use of this page.

Naut'sa mawt Tribal Council Vancouver Island 

8017 Chemainus Rd., Chemainus, BC VOR 1K5
p: (250) 324-1800 | tf : 888-382-7711

Naut'sa mawt Tribal Council Delta Office

330-6165 Highway 17A Delta, BC V4K 5B8

p: (604) 943-6712 | tf: 888-382-7711