Financial Assistance Info

Updated April 5, 2020

What the ACMG is doing

  • The ACMG Team is keeping track of various initiatives and benefit programs as they are rolled out by government agencies and will keep this page updated. If you are aware of a program not listed here, see a mistake or dead link, let us know:

Overview of Assistance Programs

The Federal and several Provincial governments in Canada have announced programs to support businesses and individuals to help with financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to check their websites as this is a continuously evolving situation.

  • This is a document put compiled by Jennifer Robson, Associate Professor of Political Management, Carleton University using public information It has a great deal of information about benefit programs and resources. It was published March 27th, so some info might be dated but much will likely remain useful.

Federal Programs




A taxable benefit providing $2,000 a month, for up to four months, for workers who lose their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who can apply

To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You reside in Canada
  • You are 15 years old or more when you apply
  • For your first CERB application:
    • You have stopped or will stop working due to reasons related to COVID-19
    • For at least 14 days in a row for the period you are applying for, you will not receive:
      • employment income
      • self-employment income
      • provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave
  • For your subsequent CERB applications:
    • You continue to not work due to reasons related to COVID-19
    • For the 4 week period you are applying for, you will not receive:
      • employment income;
      • self-employment income; or
      • provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave.
  • You have not quit your job voluntarily
  • You did not apply for, nor receive, CERB or EI benefits from Service Canada for the same eligibility period
  • You earned a minimum of $5,000 income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:
    • employment income
    • self-employment income
    • provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave

Eligibility periods

Eligibility periods are fixed in 4-week periods.
If your situation continues, you can re-apply for CERB for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods).

How to Apply

There are two ways to apply:

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - Support for individuals and families

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - Overview, Support for Businesses

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - Support for Businesses, Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

  • A three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.

Who is eligible?

Provicial Programs

PROVINCE OF ALBERTA - Emergency Isolation Support

  • One-time emergency payment of $1,146 if they are required to self-isolate or are the sole caregiver of someone in self-isolation and they have no other source of income.
  • Intended as a "bridge" until the CERB portal [see above] is open around April 6.
  • Apply here:

PROVINCE OF ALBERTA - payment deferrals
Utility and Student Loans Repayment Deferral

  • 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.
  • This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. For example, those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.
  • Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.
  • Implementing a six-month, interest free, moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans.


PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA - Emergency Benefit for Workers
  • Provides a tax-free $1,000 one-time payment for those British Columbians who receive federal Employment Insurance (EI), or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit [see above, Federal] Includes workers who have been laid-off, who are sick or quarantined, parents with sick children, parents who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed, and those caring for sick family members, such as an elderly parent. The workers can be EI-eligible and non-EI eligible, such as the self-employed.
  • How to apply - not announced at this writing.
  • Increases and expands the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit in July 2020. As many as 86% of British Columbians will see some extra money. Eligible families of four will receive up to $564 and eligible individuals will receive up to $218 in an enhanced payment. This boosts the regular climate action tax credit payment of up to $112.50 per family of four and up to $43.50 per adult.
  • How to apply: not announced at this writing.
  • Utility bill and ICBC (car insurance) deferrals: British Columbians needing more time to pay their bills can also apply to existing payment deferral programs at ICBC and BC Hydro. ICBC is extending deferrals to up to 90 days.
  • People dealing with job loss, illness or loss of wages due to COVID-19 may also qualify for BC Hydro's Customer Crisis Fund grant program for up to $600.
Assistance for BC Seniors
  • For seniors needing help with non-medical essentials, from shopping for and delivering groceries; prescriptions; to a daily check-in call.
  • Also seeking (non-senior) volunteers for this work
  • Visit or dial 211 in BC.


  • For tourism operators or small- or medium- sized businesses or organizations that received FedDev Ontario funding and COVID-19 is affecting your operations, contact your project officer as you may be eligible for flexible arrangements.
  • If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium- sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy, FedDev Ontario can help you navigate the support available.
  • For more information on additional government support available to your business and workers, please contact Service Canada at 1-800-OCanada (1-800-622-6232).



Navigating Canada's Benefit Programs

flow chart

Featured Partner

Thank you to our partners for their excellent support and commitment to professional guiding in Canada.