On March 16, the Quebec government announced its intention to pay $573 per week (non-taxable) as emergency assistance to workers affected by COVID-19.
The Temporary Aid for Workers Affected by COVID-19 Program (PATT COVID-19) aims to support three categories of people, for a maximum of 28 days: those with or having symptoms of the disease, those who have been in contact with a person with the disease and those who return from travel (after March 12, 2020) and who must isolate themselves for 14 days. The goal is to deter people from going to work despite the risk, for fear of losing income.
From March 19, the form to apply for financial assistance will be available at www.quebec.ca/coronavirus. The Quebec government’s goal is for cheques to be issued within 48 hours of an application.
Other financial measures
For its part, the federal government has also announced a series of assistance measures. Thus, an envelope of five billion dollars will be dedicated to an Emergency Support Allowance for workers who lose their jobs (or whose hours are cut) due to COVID-19, but who do not have access to the regular employment insurance program. These benefits can be paid for 14 weeks.
In addition, those who do not receive paid sick leave, including the self-employed or those who have to stay at home to care for their children, will be able to count on the Emergency Care Allowance, which provides up to $450 per week for up to 15 weeks.
Support for all
Finally, all families will be able to count on additional government support, since the Canada Child Allowance (CCA) benefit will be increased next May. For low and moderate income families, the Canadian government also plans to make an additional payment through the GST credit. The total increase in CCA for beneficiary families will be approximately $550 on average.
The taxman will show flexibility with citizens. They will have until June 1 to file their tax return and can defer payment of any tax amount, free of charge, until August 31, 2020. Please note, however, that it would be a good idea to file the return on time, despite the delay. As well, if you are entitled to a refund or to amounts related to social services, you will not have to wait…