Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Provincial & Municipal
The City of Toronto has received authorization from the Province of Ontario to open licensed child care centres to provide care for children of essential and critical service workers.
Increasing the Canada Child Benefit
The federal government is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family. This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May. Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply. Ensure you have filed 2018 taxes to receive this.
The provincial government is providing a one-time $200 payment per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including kids enrolled in private schools.
1) Make sure you are getting the Canada Child Benefit.
2) If you received Employment Insurance maternity or parental benefits, these count
towards the $5,000 “work” earnings in the last year in the eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
You can’t get CERB at the same time as EI maternity or parental benefits.
If you don’t have work when you come off of maternity/parental benefits, you might get CERB if you have the $5,000 in work income in the last year.
In normal times, people who are coming off of EI maternity/parental benefits and have lost their job can apply for EI regular benefits (see here). Right now, CERB is replacing EI regular benefits and people who would qualify for EI regular benefits can still claim those, if they need to, if they use up all of 4 of their CERB payments.
If you get CERB for the same 4 weeks that your employer gets the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to pay you, you may be asked to pay back your CERB.
If you lost paid work, have been laid off or have to be home due to illness or caregiving, you can get CERB if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Some expectant mothers who applied for CERB through Service Canada and reported truthfully that they are pregnant were told that they had to start their maternity claim early, instead of taking CERB. But, the federal government has confirmed that expectant parents can take CERB (for 1 month or more) if they qualify and then switch into EI maternity/parental benefits as they planned.
To qualify for EI maternity and parental benefits, parents have to show they have had at least 600 hours of work where they (and their employer) paid into Employment Insurance. In Quebec, parents have to show they have earned at least $3,000 through work (including self-employment).
Because of COVID19, some parents will be worried they won’t have enough hours or earnings to qualify for the benefits they planned on.
It isn’t yet clear how the federal or Quebec governments are going to handle this question. You could call your federal MP (or in Quebec your MNA) to make your voice heard.
See the Government of Canada website here.