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: May 12

CARP calls for more financial support for seniors during pandemic

Seniors are being left on the sidelines while other groups receive financial help from the federal government. It’s time for our Members to be moved to the front of the line.

Read about CARP’s demands of government

For more information on what CARP is doing around RRIF withdrawals, view our campaign page

For our 3rd COVID-19 interactive town hall, we brought together our Members and experts to discuss the financial impacts of the pandemic

CARP members enjoyed priority access to ask the expert panel the questions at the top of everyones’ minds—how will this crisis affect my retirement and what can I do to protect my financial security today and in the future as the situation develops?


Update: May 12,2020

  • Seniors who are eligible for OAS will receive up to $300 in a one-time tax-free payment
  • Seniors who are eligible for GIS will receive up to $200 in a one-time tax-free payment


  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    • UPDATE: The CERB has now become accessible to more Canadians, with expanded eligibility. You know qualify if you:
      • Have lost wages, but are still making less than $1000 / month
      • Are a seasonal worker
      • Have recently exhausted your EI benefit
    •  $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who face income loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Find out if you’re eligible
    • How to apply
  • RRIF withdrawals reduced by 25% for 2020
  • Increased GST/HST Rebate
    • Canadians who normally receive the GST/HST credit and have filed a 2018 tax return will automatically receive a one-time increase in the credit
    • Even if you were previously not entitled to the GST/HST credit, but have filed your 2018 tax return, you may also get the one-time credit amount based on your family net income
    • The maximum amounts that you may qualify for are:
      • $443 to $886 if you’re single
      • $580 to $1,160 if you’re married or living common-law
      • $153 to $306 for each child under the age of 19 (excluding the first eligible child of a single parent)
      • $290 to $580 for the first eligible child of a single parent



View the latest information from the Government of BC

  • BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
    • Will provide a one-time $1,000 payment to people who lost income because of COVID-19
  • Climate Action Tax Credit
    • A one-time enhancement to the climate action tax credit will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low-income families
  • Renters, Homeowners and People Experiencing Homelessness
  • Bills + Payments
    • BC Hydro
  • ICBC
  • Income & Disability Assistance
    • People not receiving EI or CERB will automatically receive a $300 supplement on cheques issued in April, May, and June
    • You must be receiving any of the following:
      • Income Assistance
      • Disability Assistance
      • Comforts Allowance
      • BC Senior’s Supplement
    • BC Bus Pass Program
      • If you are on Disability Assistance and receiving the BC Bus Pass:
        • There is a current province-wide suspension of BC Transit and Translink bus fares
        • You will automatically receive the $52 Transportation Supplement on your cheque starting in April


View the latest information from the Government of SK


View the latest information from the Government of AB

  • 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


View the latest information from the Government of MB


View the latest information from the Government of ON


View the latest information from the Government of 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


View the latest information from the Government of NB

Patients with drug coverage under New Brunswick’s public drug plans will only be responsible for the initial co-payment on a prescription fill or refill


View the latest information from the Government of PEI

  • COVID-19 Income Support Fund
    • One-time lump sum payment of $750 to bridge the gap between the loss of job/lay-off, loss of primary source of income, Employment Insurance benefits expiration or loss of all revenues through self-employment as a result of COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Special Situation Fund for individuals
    • Up to $1,000 to Islanders who have experienced urgent income loss as a result of COVID-19 and are not eligible for other federal and provincial funding support
  • Housing
  • PEI Employee Gift Card Program
    • Eligible employees who have been laid off receive a $100 Sobeys gift card


View the latest information from the Government of 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


View the latest information from the Government of NFL

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


View the latest information from the Government of YU

  • Paid Sick Leave Rebate
    • Allows Yukon workers without paid sick leave to stay at home if they need to self-isolate or quarantine


None at this time