Measures that our governments are imposing to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are making restaurant and tourism workers anxious. What financial assistance they entitled to if they are quarantined or laid off?
Are you quarantined due to a possible exposure to the coronavirus or are you missing work because you are infected? Whether or not you have access to employment insurance, you can take advantage of financial assistance to compensate for the loss of income caused by this leave from work.
Ottawa accelerating access to Employment Insurance
If you are eligible for Employment Insurance (a program under federal jurisdiction), you are entitled to income replacement benefits for a maximum of 15 weeks.
Due to the pandemic, the Canadian government is suspending the waiting period – the first week without work during which EI claimants are normally not entitled to benefits. This means that eligible workers will receive this financial assistance from their first week of absence from work, if it is due to COVID-19.
To claim your entitlement to this exceptional measure, you need to call 1-833-381-2725.
On its website [https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html], Service Canada is committed to processing EI claims that are filed in connection with the coronavirus.
Workers who want to apply for Employment Insurance because of a layoff should also contact Service Canada. Employment insurance benefits then cover a maximum of 52 weeks.
Quebec offers temporary assistance
Do you not have access to Employment Insurance and are also not entitled to sick leave paid by your employer nor private insurance benefits? On Monday, March 16, Premier François Legault announced the establishment of a special assistance program for workers forced to isolate themselves for 14 days due to the pandemic.
The workers eligible for this program are those:
- who must isolate themselves due to COVID-19;
- who travelled abroad after March 12, 2020;
- who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been in contact with people with these symptoms;
- who are infected with COVID-19.
The Temporary Worker Assistance Program (PATT) is administered by the Canadian Red Cross.
Whether employed or self-employed, you will be able to receive up to $573 per week while you are in isolation. If your health requires longer leave from work, you will be covered by the program for up to four weeks.
For information on the PATT, call 1-877-644-4545.