I’m a support worker. Do I get a pay raise because of COVID-19?Updated November 22

Many personal support workers will get a temporary pay raise because of COVID-19. This pay raise took effect on October 1, 2020 and will last until March 31, 2022.

The raise is available to support workers who provide personal support services that are publicly funded. This could mean:

  • You work for the government directly, like in a hospital or long-term care home.
  • You work for a private company or non-profit that has a contract with the government to deliver services.
  • Your client gets money from the government to pay you, like the Passport Program.

You don't need a Personal Support Worker (PSW) certificate or any other specific training to get the pay increase. You just need to be helping clients with daily living tasks, personal care, or personal safety. For example, your job could include helping with dressing or planning daily routines.

You can provide these services in-person, or online.

The amount of your raise will depend on where you work:

  • Support workers that work in home and community care, long-term care, and social services will receive an additional $3 per hour.
  • Support workers that work in hospitals will receive an additional $2 per hour.

Getting the pay raise

Most workers will get this pay raise automatically. You don't have to apply for it. Your employer will get the money for your raise from the government directly and will include it in your pay.

But some workers might have to talk to their clients to get the pay increase. This can include support workers whose clients get government funding to pay them.

If your client gets money from the government to pay you, tell your client that you want the pay increase of $3 an hour. Explain that the pay increase is temporary and funded by the government. If they have questions, encourage them to talk to the government program that gives them the money for your services.

Once they agree, the next step depends on where your client gets their funding to pay you.

If your client gets funding from the Passport Program, give your client a receipt or invoice for your work, showing the extra pay. After your client pays you, they will then have to submit a claim to the government program they work with.

You can also share this page which has instructions about the pay increase: Temporary wage increase for direct support workers (Passport Program).

If your client gets funding through a children's direct funding program like the Ontario Autism Program, your client must apply online. You don't have to give them an invoice showing the extra pay. Your client can apply for funding before they pay you.

You can share this page which explains who can get the increase: Temporary wage increase for direct support workers.

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