COVID-19: Financial help for seniors

Money in a wallet

Many of our Members have expressed concern over the financial hardships they are experiencing, or are worried they will experience, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both federal and provincial governments have announced programs and benefits that aim to provide relief for Canadians over the coming months.

As one of the demographics fatally threatened by COVID-19, many seniors are in desperate need of these supports in order to make ends meet while in social-isolation, quarantine or recovery. Other have had their income slashed through loss of their job or wages.

Here you’ll find a list of all currently announced financial supports available to older individuals, with links to current and further information on each where applicable.

Please remember that, now more than ever, CARP has your back.

If you’re feeling the negative mental health effects that can arise from social isolation, reaching out to your local CARP Chapter is a great way to find social support.

Important: There have already been reports of fraudulent spam text messages being sent about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. If you receive a message like this, it’s best to ignore it and go straight to the Government of Canada website for information.

Last Updated: March 26

Federal

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    •  $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Who qualifies?
      • Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19
      • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures
      • Wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI)
      • Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19
    • Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits will continue to receive their benefits and should not apply
    • Timing
      • Will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. You will also be able to apply via an automated telephone line or via a toll-free number.
      • Payments will be issued within 10 days of application, and every 4 weeks thereafter from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020
  • RRIF withdrawals reduced by 25% for 2020

 

Provincial

BC

SK

AB

  • Emergency isolation support
    • Eligible working Albertans can receive a one-time emergency isolation support payment of $1,146 if they:
      • experienced total or significant loss of income as a result of having to self-isolate, or are the sole caregiver of a dependent who is self-isolating, and
      • have no other source of compensation, such as workplace sick leave benefits or federal employment insurance benefits
  • Bills + Payments
    • Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
  • Banks + Credit Unions
    • ATB financial customers
      • Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.
    • Alberta Credit Unions
      • 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.
      • Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation
  • Education property tax freeze
    • Residential education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level

MA

None at this time (March 26). Rent deferrals / protections promised, but not confirmed.

ON

QC

  • Temporary Aid for Workers Program
    • Lump-sum amount granted to an eligible person is $573 per week, for a period of 14 days of isolation. If justified by your state of health, the coverage period for an eligible person could be extended to a maximum of 28 days. 

NB

  • $900 one-time benefit
    • Administered through the Red Cross to help to bridge the time between when people lose their employment or close their business and when they receive their federal benefit

PEI

NS

  • Income assistance
    • Every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting Friday, 20 March
  • Community Links and Seniors’ Safety Programs
    • Investing $230,000 to expand capacity to provide more supports and services
  • If you’re an older Nova Scotian (or if you’re concerned about one) and you need non-emergency, non-medical help, call 211 or visit ns.211.ca.

NFL

  • Employee wage subsidy
    • Provides compensation to private sector employers to ensure continuation of pay for employees affected by the need to self-isolate.

YU

None at this time (March 26)

NWT

None at this time (March 26)