Last updated: June 12, 2020 at 9 a.m.

The Government of Canada has introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to provide income support during COVID-19. You may be eligible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an economic impact on the livelihoods of Toronto residents. This page offers a list of resources which can be used to help minimize those impacts and help get Toronto residents back on their feet.

Service Canada has a dedicated phone line for inquiries regarding Employment Insurance (EI) claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic: 1-833-381-2725.

Important information for workers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work:

  • Workers should continue to apply for?Employment Insurance
  • Individuals who have already applied for Employment Insurance will be automatically enrolled for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Visit the?Canada Revenue Agency website for additional information
  • Service Canada?continues to accept?online Employment Insurance and Pension applications.

The Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides an overview of the Federal Government’s announced support for Canadians.

Topics include:

  • Income Support for Individuals Who Need it Most
  • Flexibility for Taxpayers
  • Mortgage Default Management Tools
  • Role of Financial Institutions

A list of resources on topics including employment insurance, work-sharing program, the labour program and federally regulated workplaces, and the repayment of student loans can be found at?Employment and Social Development Canada.

The City has prepared a fact sheet outlining Employment Insurance. People are encouraged to file a claim as soon as they lose their job.

The City has prepared a fact sheet outlining Employment Insurance Sick Benefits as they relate to COVID-19. People are encouraged to file a claim as soon as they have been advised to quarantine.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit?(CERB) provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months to:

  • Workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • Workers who 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 that are sick or need additional care because of school and child care closures.
  • Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

To be eligible for the CERB, workers must have earned a minimum of $5,000 in income within the last 12 months or in the 2019 calendar year from employment income and/or self-employment income.

The Employment Standards Amendment Act provides job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or to those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or child care closures or to care for other relatives.

The Government of Canada launched an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program?to expand the stable funding available to banks and mortgage lenders in order to ensure continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses.

Bank of Montreal, CIBC,?National Bank of Canada,?Royal Bank of Canada,?Scotiabank?and?TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as:

  • pay disruption due to COVID-19,
  • childcare disruption due to school closures,
  • those facing illness from COVID-19.

This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

More information is available at?Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action To Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19.

Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) continues to provide critical services to vulnerable residents and is maintaining a level of service to ensure the provision of critical financial benefits and supports for low-income clients and vulnerable residents.

Provision of critical services primarily by phone include:

  • new applications for?Ontario Works (OW) financial assistance (by phone) at 416-338-8888
  • ensuring eligible OW clients continue to receive their monthly payments
  • Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) requests
  • continuation of benefits such as special diet, employment related expenses, and medical transportation
  • funeral applications

In-person services are restricted at this time and provided by exception only as most service can be provided to those in need by phone.

Check the?Employment and Social Services section on the Changes to City Services page for updates on impacted services and when they may return to normal service.

There are interest free loans for low-income households for rental arrears or rental deposits. The Toronto Rent Bank provides interest-free loans to Toronto residents who are behind in their rent or need to move to more suitable housing.