HOW TO GET FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR YOUR FAMILY DURING COVOD-19?
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
***Most up to date info HERE**
Dear beautiful community,
How are you holding up? These uncertain times are challenging for sure but we are committed to supporting you during these difficult times the best we can.
We know that with the kids at home and working up in the air, it may be a challenge for you guys to do all the research and digging around online to see what is available for you.
That is why we have teamed with one of our partners Buckley & Associates to share a combination of helpful links to get you the support you need right now. Scroll down to what ever is relevant to you.
Today we have partnered up with one of our Sponsors, Christie Buckley from Buckley & Associates Inc. who can help with advice and interpretations to get you and your family with any financial assistance that you may need including filing your income tax returns.
BENEFITS AND EI INFORMATION
The Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit have been merged into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The application form will be available through a Government of Canada portal on April 6. If you do not have an online account with CRA, we recommend that you register for one now, as it is a process that takes a couple of weeks in normal times (a code is mailed to you to unlock the account before you can perform transactions).
The CERB has also been better integrated with Employment Insurance to allow workers to apply for benefits through a single window.
Who is covered by the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
This new benefit will cover people who have lost their job, people who are sick or quarantined, and parents who must stay home without pay to care for children, the same as the two previously announced benefits.
The new CERB also includes workers who have no income due to the COVID-19 slowdown, but who haven’t yet been officially laid off. It will cover employees, contract workers, and self-employed workers.
To qualify, applicants must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day they make the application.
How much will I get?
The CERB will pay out $2,000 per month for the next 4 months, backdated to March 15th.
Where can I apply?
The application form will be available on April 6. If you have already applied for EI, you do not need to also apply for this new benefit, your claim will be automatically moved over to the CERB and you will receive the 16-week benefit. If needed, you can use your hours to apply for EI benefits after you have exhausted CERB benefits.
You can apply in one of these three ways:
by accessing it on your CRA MyAccount secure portal;
by accessing it from your secure My Service Canada Account; or
by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.
What if I’ve already been laid off and applied for EI?
If you’ve already applied for EI you do not need to reapply for the CERB. Your claim will be automatically moved over to the CERB, and benefits paid from this program first. If needed, you can use your hours to apply for EI benefits after you have exhausted CERB benefits.
What if I don’t qualify for EI?
You can qualify for the CERB if you had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day you make the application.
When will I get benefits?
The application is expected to be available April 6. Benefits should be delivered 10 days after you submit your application form. The earliest you could receive benefits through direct deposit is April 16th (or slightly later if by mail).
What if I’m already receiving EI Benefits?
You will continue to receive your EI benefits. If your EI benefits end before October 3rd, 2020, and you are still unable to return to work, you can apply to the CERB once your EI benefits run out.
What if I continue to be sick or unemployed after October 3, 2020?
If you have enough EI insurable hours, you will still be able to access your normal EI benefits after the 16-week period covered by the CERB
Taxes & Accounting
Here are the following changes made regarding this tax season to support you during these challenging times:
With changes in schedules, environment and communication it can be overwhelming to stay in the know with the changes and updates the government is releasing. Watching the news can be a super stressful experience
The Child Tax Program and GST/HST
credits will be enhanced in May as well to assist.
For over 12 million low- and modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, the Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC).
This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year.
The average boost to income for those benefiting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. This measure will inject $5.5 billion into the economy.
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.
The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment. In total, this measure will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.
Together, the proposed enhancements of the GSTC and CCB will give a single parent with two children and low to modest income nearly $1,500 in additional short-term support.
DEADLINE EXTENSIONS ON TAX FILING
Income Tax filing and payment deadlines have been extended. The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any tax amounts that become owing 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.
The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium (SME) businesses to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
We do recommend that you get your tax returns done. If you are in a refund position, you are best to claim that money so that you can use it now to support your needs. Future benefit payments may depend on you having these returns completed (like the CCB and the GST/HST that is being enhanced temporarily).
To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs
The government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 75% of remuneration paid during that period. Details are still being worked out and we should know soon how to advise you.
Aid that may be available is also confusing to most. E.I. regular benefits and sick benefits are already open and processing applications;
Supports for business are ever-changing and we are keeping ourselves updated in order to help guide you. The Work Share program that is currently available takes at least 30 days for the application to be processed, and you MUST be approved before executing this program.
The BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada, a Crown Corporation) is administering loans to businesses and we are hoping changes to the guidelines will roll out soon, to allow more businesses to access this funding source. For loans more than $100K please reach out to your local BDC.
The EDC (Export Development Canada, a Crown Corporation) has programs to support you with dwindling revenues/cash flow, cancelled contracts and performance security. Whether you export or not, these folks are worth the call and very connected with many Domestic support services as well for those that may not qualify under their mandates.
Banks are working with individuals and businesses to defer payments, lower interest rates and increase credit limits. Check with your local bank on their emergency programs available.
RBC for example has announced that all existing RBC small business clients who have been registered as a business as of March 1, 2020 will be eligible to enroll for the Emergency Business Account relief offered by the Government of Canada.
Further program eligibility and enrollment details will be available on rbc.com/businessrelief in the coming days.
The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
This will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support (like guarantees as well as loan programs), largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.
The near term credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector will also be increased through Farm Credit Canada.
Under this program, the government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This action will provide long-term stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders, help facilitate continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses, and add liquidity to Canada’s mortgage market. Details of the terms of the purchase operations will be provided to lenders by CMHC later this week.
Further, the Bank of Canada has announced that it will adjust its market liquidity operations to maintain market functioning and credit availability during the current period of uncertainty in which conditions are evolving rapidly.
Every Municipality has measures in place to support you from the Municipal level as well, so check with your local Business Development professionals and check their websites often for help.
The Government of Ontario has introduced temporary hydro rate relief for Ontario electricity customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES
Many small businesses are taking the same generous and kind approach, so ask around and see what is open to you from the strength of the private sector of your community as well. Your friends, neighbours and other community groups are also pitching in with many volunteer efforts.
I have personally found a great deal of value in Clearing and Meditation practices in order to stay sharp and energetic while I serve so many. I cannot stress the value of good emotional intelligence, a calm nervous system (both of them) and good clear energy in all your forms.
A link you can visit that may help you to understand more about the temporary measures is:
This is happening "for us" and we will be stronger together - we can create a better, more connected, healthier world. Let's also realize that we are all in this together, that this too shall pass and let's lead through Love and Collaboration to get us to the win/win/win solutions that we all deserve.
We will plan to also develop and roll out some simple cash flow and time management resources to help you cope with the increased activity and reduced security in your cash flows. Please be sure to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel that this would be of value to you.