Financial Health & Wellness
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Employees who are away from work during the COVID-19 pandemic may have concerns about their income, finances, or job security. Financial emergencies resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic can be stressful for employees and their family members. The following tips provide guidance and financial information for employees who are away from work, experiencing job loss/layoffs, or have become unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- The Government of Canada has developed an Economic Response Plan to help Canadians manage their finances during this unprecedented time. As part of this plan, the Government of Canada is taking the following actions to help support the economic needs of Canadians:
- Canada Revenue Agency: Deferred the filing and payment of 2019 income taxes for individuals.
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit: Provides a taxable amount of $2,000 per month for up to 6 months for those facing unemployment due to COVID-19. The CRA is continuing to accept and process retroactive applications until December 2, 2020.
- Employment Insurance (EI): Employees who are unemployed due to shortage of work because of closed or decreased operations during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for EI, given that they qualify for the EI benefit.
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) Income support if you are self-employed or are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) Income support if you must stop work to care for dependants due to closures, high risk and caregiver availability.
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) Up to two weeks of support if you are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19.
- EI Sick Benefits: Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons.
- If you are in financial hardship, contact your bank to see how they may be able to support you. This can include the following:
- Mortgage Deferrals: Allows you to skip mortgage payments for a defined period of time. Interest will continue to be charged on the amount you owe and will be added to your balance.
- Reduction of Credit Card Interest Rates: Temporary reductions in credit card interest rates and/or a deferral of credit card payments for a defined period of time.
- Fee Waivers/Deferrals: Regular fees or payments may be waived or delayed.
- Develop an emergency response budget. Identify all of your income sources and expenses and distinguish needs from wants in the budget. For help with creating and managing an emergency response budget, click here for an online budget planner.
- Develop and maintain an emergency response fund to help pay for unexpected expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic (approximately 3-6 months of regular expenses). If you do not currently have an emergency response fund, consider putting some funds aside if you can afford it. For help with developing and managing an emergency response fund, click here for more information.
- Protect yourself from financial fraud. Financial fraud may be more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for more information about reported scams during COVID-19, how to protect yourself when banking online, and knowing what to do if you’re a victim of fraud.
- Seek help and guidance from reputable sources as required. Reputable sources include licensed financial advisors and accredited credit counsellors. These professionals can help individuals identify their financial options and build a financial plan in response to COVID-19. Credible programs and services for financial counselling include:
- Financial Fitness Windsor: Offers free, confidential, and unbiased financial counselling and coaching sessions by telephone during the COVID-19 pandemic. To set up an appointment with a financial counsellor, please contact Financial Fitness Windsor by phone at 1-877-777-9218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Prosper Canada: Offers a financial relief navigator to help Canadians identify the benefits that they are entitled to during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information about financial management during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the following resources: