Government Measures as of Mar 20, 2020
The Provincial and Federal governments have announced a number of measures to help Albertan’s deal with the economic issues associated with COVID-19. Some are automatic, and some you must apply for. The list below identifies some of what is available as of Mar 20/20. All websites referenced in this document as links are shown on the last page.
This information is not exhaustive and is subject to change and correction by the governments. Watch the following sites for updates and more information:
- Canada.ca for Covid-19 related information
- Check here for a directory of services and programs
- Call the toll-free number only if you absolutely cannot find what you need online (super busy) at 1-800 O Canada or 1-800-622-6232
government programs You must apply for
Provincial Emergency Isolation Support: You must apply – look for it at alberta.ca next week!
- This will be a temporary program for working adult Albertans who must self-isolate because they meet the Government of Alberta’s published criteria for self-isolation, including persons who are the sole caregiver for a dependent who must self-isolate because they meet the public health criteria, and who will not have another source of pay or compensation while they are self-isolated.
- It will be distributed in one payment instalment and will bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April.
- The program is planned by the government to be accessible by a simple online application through alberta.ca next week and that funds will be deposited in the accounts of eligible recipients beginning at that time.
Provincial Banks and credit unions
ATB Financial customers impacted by COVID-19 – look here for more information
- Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit, and mortgages for up to six months.
- Small business customers, in addition to payment deferrals on loans and lines of credit, will be provided access to additional working capital.
- For other business and agriculture customers, ATB will work with customers on a one-on-one basis and further solutions are being considered at this time.
Alberta credit unions – contact your credit union directly
- Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
- Both individual and business members are encouraged to proactively contact their credit union directly to work out a plan for their personal situation.
Heat and power utility payment deferral – contact your providers directly
- Residential, farm, and small commercial customers can defer bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off from these services during this time of crisis.
- This will cover electricity and natural gas, regardless of the service provider.
Federal Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits
- up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week
- you must apply for this – look here to find more information
government programs You may benefit from automatically
Provincial programs publicized to date:
Provincial student loans repayment holiday
- The government will implement a six-month, interest-free moratorium on Alberta student loan repayments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
- The government of Alberta will defer the collection of corporate income tax balances and instalment payments, due after today, until Aug. 31, 2020.
Federal programs publicized to date:
- A one-time payment to low- and modest-income individuals and couples averaging $400 per individual or $600 per couple – scheduled for early May 2020.
Canada Child Benefit increase for the 2019-20 year
- For families with children, who may also require additional support, the Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child – included with the May payment.
Federal student loans repayment holiday
- The government will implement a six-month, interest-free moratorium on Canada student loan repayments for all individuals who are in the process of repaying these loans.
- Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020
Tax Payment and Filing Flexibility
- For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. However, the Agency 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.
- For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date will be deferred until May 1, 2020.
- All taxpayers may defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020 and before September 2020. This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Government Programs in the Works
For more information about assistance, please see the websites for each level of government listed above.
- Federal Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment
- EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process. This was announced by the Prime Minister on March 11, 2020.
Programs for Indigenous and Metis populations; people experiencing homelessness and people experiencing domestic violence are also being planned.