Province of Ontario
COVID-19 Ontario Government Updates
Find the latest updates from the provincial government on ways to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Updated twice daily.
COVID-19 Apply for Emergency Assistance
You can apply for short-term financial support here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/apply-emergency-assistance
COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool
The Ontario government created an online Self-Assessment tool for those concerned that they’ve contracted the virus.
Start Self-Assessment here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0
COVID-19 Test Results
Extensions on validations and deadlines
Driver’s licenses, vehicle and carrier products
Learn about expiry-date extensions for driver’s licenses, vehicle and carrier products and services due to COVID-19.
You do not need to renew your health card until further notice. Recently expired health cards will be accepted.
Current Ontario Works and ODSP recipients
We’ve made additional funding available to help you pay for things related to COVID-19 like cleaning supplies, transportation and clothing.
If you are an Ontario Works or ODSP recipient, you can get this additional funding by contacting your local Ontario Works or ODSP office. Funding for COVID-19 related expenses is the same for both programs: up to $100 for single individuals and up to $200 for families.
Offices have reduced hours, and you should contact your local office if you need more assistance.
You do not have to visit your local office to provide written documentation for Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program during this time.
Changes to renting
We’ve made temporary changes to residential rental processes.
Help for electricity bills
From March 24 up to and including May 7, 2020, residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers will pay the lowest rate — also known as the off-peak price — 24 hours a day. That means you will pay 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter what time of day you use electricity. This rate will be automatically applied to your bill.
Through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), low-income customers can get direct support to pay bills and ensure electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected during the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you are behind on your bill and may have your service disconnected, you could qualify for:
- $500 for electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated electrically)
- $500 for natural gas bills
Doubled GAINS payments for seniors
If you are a senior receiving monthly Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments, we will be doubling your payment, making it up to $166 per month for individuals and up to $332 per month for couples. If you are a GAINS recipient, you will receive this extra support automatically for six months, with the first payment on April 24, 2020.
Government of Canada
Apply for EI and the Emergency Worker Fund
Financial supports for those whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19.
Individuals and families
- Temporary wage top-up for low-income essential workers
- Increasing the Canada Child Benefit
- Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment
- Extra time to file income tax returns
- Mortgage payment deferral
People facing loss of income
Employment Insurance (EI) program
We made temporary changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to better support Canadians looking for work. As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:
- were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
- received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
- stopped working through no fault of your own
- have not quit your job voluntarily
- are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
- are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits) If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits. Apply to Employment Insurance If you are not eligible for EI, you may be eligible for the new benefits:
The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).Apply to the Canada Recovery Benefit
The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:
- Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
- Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
- have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. Apply to the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
The CRCB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:
- unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19
- because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.Apply to the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Has Ended
We provided a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 28 weeks to eligible workers who stopped working or whose work hours were reduced due to COVID-19.We are continuing to accept and process retroactive applications until December 2, 2020.If you continue to need financial support, find out if you are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI)You can also look for employment opportunities through the Job Bank
Mortgage payment deferral
Homeowners facing financial hardship may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to six months.The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.To know if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral or to learn what options are available, contact your lender — your bank or your mortgage professional.Learn more about mortgage payment deferral
- Reduced minimum withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds
- Supporting the delivery of items and personal outreach
- Providing immediate and essential services to seniors
- Providing a one-time tax-free payment
- Temporarily extending the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowance payments
Support for businesses
Access to credit
- Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
- Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
- Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF)
- Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
- Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
- Assisting innovative and early-stage businesses
- Young entrepreneurs
- Businesses in the territories
Students and Parents
Learn at Home web portal
The provincial government launched an online resource portal for elementary and secondary school students to help them learn at home while schools are closed.
Visit here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home
Online Resources for Students K-7
Ottawa Public Library
The Federal and provincial government has put a 6-month moratorium on interest payments for student loans. Visit here.
City of Ottawa
City of Ottawa Revenue Services is implementing changes to the following services to assist residents and small businesses as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve.
· Interim Property Tax Grace Period for All Property Owners
· New 2020 Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program
· Tax & Water Bill Deferral Program for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
· Water Service
· Farm Grant Program
For more information, click here.
Recognizing the economic uncertainty for Ottawa residents associated with the current COVID-19 outbreak, Hydro Ottawa is taking measures to help customers:
· The provincial Winter Disconnection Ban scheduled to end on April 30, 2020 has been extended by an additional three months.
· Account collection actions have been suspended until further notice.
· Customers may request flexible payment plans in order to allow more time to pay outstanding balances on their account, if needed. Contact us to discuss payment options. · Online: hydroottawa.com/contact
Phone: 613-738-6400 (Weekdays from 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Excluding statutory holidays.)