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What benefits are available to help during COVID-19?

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What benefits are available to help during COVID-19?
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)

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What benefits are available to help during COVID-19?
Reviewed: 
October 13, 2020
Answer

There are a few different ways to get income support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Use the chart below to see what's available and if you qualify.

The federal government offers the following help:

Benefit Description Notes
Child tax benefit (CCB) One-time extra payment of $300 per child. If you're already receiving the CCB, you don't have to apply. You should receive the extra $300 with your regular CCB payment on May 20.
Mortgage deferral payment Homeowners facing financial hardship might be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to 6 months. Contact your lender, bank, or other mortgage professional to find out if you're eligible for a mortgage payment deferral and other options you might have. For many, the mortgage deferral option ends on September 30, 2020.
GST payment One-time payment of about $400 for single individuals and about $600 for couples. If you filed a 2018 tax return, you should receive the extra payment automatically. Payments were issued on April 9, 2020.
Disability tax credit (DTC) One-time-tax-free payment of:

If you have a valid DTC certificate as of June 1, 2020, you should receive the extra payment automatically. If you don't have a valid DTC certificate, you must apply for one before September 25. Payments will start to be made on October 30.

Old Age Security (OAS) One-time tax-free payment of $300. You don't have to apply. You should receive this payment during the week of July 6.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) One-time tax-free payment of $200. You don't have to apply. You should receive this payment during the week of July 6.
Income tax returns Deadline to file taxes was extended to June 1, 2020. Any payments due are deferred to August 31, 2020 with no interest or penalties.

 

For more information about these federal benefits, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html. If you have any questions, call Service Canada at 1-800-277-9914.

The Ontario government offers the following help:

Benefit Description Start and End Date Notes
Ontario Support for Families One-time payment of $200 per child under 12 or $250 for children and youth 0-21 with special needs.  

Apply online.

Fill out one application per child. But, if you already applied for the Support for Parents strike benefit, you should receive the payment automatically.

Electricity rates

Residential customers were charged the lowest rate of 10.1¢/kWh, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Starts March 24, 2020 and ends May 31, 2020

This rate has automatically been applied to your bill.

Electricity rates

There was a new COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8¢/kWh for time-of-use (TOU) customers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Starts June 1, 2020 and ends October 31, 2020

This rate has automatically been applied to your bill.

Electricity rates

The winter time-of-use (TOU) hours and the winter Tier threshold rates announced

.

Starts November 1, 2020

This rate has automatically been applied to your bill.

Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) Monthly credit  available to people with a low income to reduce the electricity bill.  Ongoing

Apply online.

The credit amount depends on how many people live in your home and your combined household income.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

One-time grant of up to $500 for arrears on electricity or gas bills if you're behind on your bill and may face having your service shut off.   Contact your provider for more information or visit: https://www.oeb.ca
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) One time credit to residential electricity and natural gas customers to help catch up on energy bills. Starts July 13, 2020. Revised eligibility requirements for applications starting October 16, 2020. Apply directly to your electricity distributor, gas distributor, or and unit sub-meter provider (USMP). For more information, visit: https://www.oeb.ca/rates-and-your-bill
Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) Payments doubled for six months. Up to $166 per month for individuals and up to $332 per month for couples. Starts April 2020 and ends September 2020 If you're receiving GAINS, you will receive this extra support automatically for 6 months. The first payment was on April 24, 2020.
OHIP The 3-month waiting period for OHIP coverage is being waived. If you don't meet the criteria for OHIP coverage and you're uninsured, the province pay for COVID-19 services. Starts March 19, 2020  
Ontario Drug Benefit Program If your household has drug coverage through the Trillium Drug Program (TDP), you can apply to have your deductible reduced if your household's income has decreased by 10% or more since 2018. Starts May 1, 2020 and ends July 31, 2020 Get the Trillium Drug Program reassessment form.
Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

 

You don't need to make any loan payments, and interest will not be added to your student loans. Starts March 30, 2020 and ends September 30, 2020  

 

For more information about these provincial benefits, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-support-people. If you have any questions, call Service Ontario at 1-866-532-3161.

Income Benefits Chart
Income benefits

Learn about benefits that are available if you need money.

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