I’ve lost income because of COVID-19. What help is available?
MPP Teresa Armstrong firmly believes the province of Ontario has a duty to support Ontarians who have lost income because of COVID-19.
Here’s what we have been able to confirm with the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services so far:
- Anyone who completes an application for Ontario Works will also be considered for emergency assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can apply at www.Ontario.ca/Community. If you have lost income, are not already receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability funding and need support, we strongly encourage you to apply now.
- You may not see emergency COVID-19 assistance listed as something you may be eligible for when applying. That is normal. The Ministry is aware of this problem, and that they hope to fix it over coming weeks.
- Emergency COVID-19 assistance could arrive before the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) from the Federal Government, and that eligible individuals will be able to receive both emergency funding from the province and the CERB in April.
- These are the steps you should follow.
- CERB is an evolving program with more folks becoming eligible for it as the program rolls out. Keep checking to see if you are eligible and reach out to your local MP should you need any more clarity.
We are still working to get clear answers from the province about the following issues:
- Eligibility criteria for receiving emergency assistance from the province;
- How much emergency assistance money the province will give individuals who are not already on social assistance;
- How many months individuals can expect to receive emergency assistance from the province;
- Whether individuals will be eligible to receive both emergency COVID-19 income assistance funding from the province and the CERB from the federal government simultaneously in May, June, July, and later months.