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Personal Finance

Where to find relief money during COVID-19

The “new norm” isn’t just about staying indoors during a pandemic. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak forcing store closures across the globe, many workers are facing temporary and permanent job loss. If the “new norm” for you means trying to understand how you can stabilize your income during an unstable time, you’re not alone.

In this post, you’ll find a summary of easy-to-understand relief measures available to you during COVID-19 that you can get started on today to fill your income gap.

Government relief (aka the Canada Emergency Response Benefit)

The Government of Canada announced it will be supplementing income for those who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 through a new program called, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

What is CERB?

If you stopped working because of the pandemic, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides you with temporary support of $500 a week, for up to 16 weeks.

Who qualifies for CERB?

  • Any worker who lives in Canada, over the age of 15
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and are not eligible for EI
  • Can show income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or 12 months from the date they apply
  • Who are or expect to be without income in the next 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period
  • This applies to self-employed individuals, too

How to apply for CERB

Visit the Government of Canada website to get started and for more information.

Bank relief

Your bank will likely have a financial relief program addressing needs for those who are looking for urgent relief.

Although most banks are receiving higher than normal response times, it is best you check your primary institution’s website first to see what options could be available to you. Some options include:

Mortgages

If you’re a homeowner and have been directly impacted by COVID-19, your bank may be able to assist you with a 6-month deferral on your mortgage payments. However, this does not mean mortgage forgiveness.

Credit Cards, Lines of Credit and Loans

If you have a credit card, line of credit or a loan, your bank may be able to provide you with up to a 6-month deferral on your payment. Your bank may also lower your interest rate on your credit card, line of credit or loans. And depending on the situation, you could qualify for a credit increase to help support your cash flow needs.

Banking fees

Most banks are waiving e-Transfer fees, stop payment charges and overdraft fees during COVID-19.

To find out if you qualify for these relief measures, reach out to your financial institution for more information.

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