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COVID-19 Supports

The Student Financial Assistance office has created a high-level summary of the recently-announced student financial aid supports being offered through the provincial and federal governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the university's response to COVID-19, please visit the Ryerson COVID-19 Information and Updates web page.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is unofficial and subject to change. Please review the original source of the information, hyperlinked in each section of the summaries listed below.

Last updated: Monday, October 13, 2020

As of October 3, 2020, The Government of Canada has ended both the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). If you were receiving CERB or CESB over the summer and/or are in need of government assistance, the federal government has modified or created new supports for Canadians that you may be able to take advantage of.

Note: The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is continuing to accept and process retroactive applications for eligibility period 7 (August 30 to September 26, 2020).

At this time, you can only apply for period 7 through the CRA’s automated toll-free phone line at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. The CRA’s My Account portal is temporarily unavailable for retroactive CERB applications.

The CRA is aiming to issue payments for retroactive applications within our service standard of 3-5 business days for direct deposit and 10-12 business days for cheques, however, in some cases it will take longer for payments to be issued.

Federal Government Support

What is it?

Provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but cannot find a job, external link, opens in new window.

If eligible, you will receive at least $500 per week before taxes, however you may be able to receive more, depending on your situation.

Am I Eligible?

As of September 27, 2020, the Government of Canada has updated the eligibility requirements for EI for one year. You may be eligible if you:

  • were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
  • received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  • stopped working through no fault of your own
  • have not quit your job voluntarily
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
  • are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)

How do I claim it?

Online or by phone via Service Canada (My Service Canada), external link, opens in new window or your CRA account (MyCRA), external link, opens in new window. If you previously received CERB, there are different ways to claim EI.

If you received CERB through Service Canada: In most cases, you do not need to apply for EI; your file and Record of Employment will automatically be reviewed, and if you qualify for EI benefits a claim will be started. You will need to apply for EI after your CERB ends if:

  • You have a SIN that starts with 9
  • You’re self-employed
  • You declared that you returned to work full-time on your CERB report

If you received CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency: You will have to apply for EI once you have received all of your CERB payments, and after the end of your last CERB eligibility period.

Reference

What is it?

Provides support for workers who have had their income reduced by at least 50%, or have stopped working due to COVID-19, and are not eligible for EI benefits.

Am I Eligible?

Open to all who reside in and are present in Canada; you do not need to be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada to be eligible, however you do need a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).

The CRB is divided up into two-week eligibility periods. To be eligible for the CRB, you must meet all the following conditions for the two-week period you are applying for:

  • You were not working for reasons related to COVID-19
  • You had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19
  • You were seeking work during the two-week period, either as an employee or self-employed
  • You have not turned down reasonable work in that two-week period.

How do I claim it?

Applicants can apply on the CRA website, external link, opens in new window. You can receive up to $1,000 (before deductions). The CRB does not renew automatically; you must reapply if your situation continues. Applicants can apply for a total of 13 eligibility periods between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. They do not have to be taken consecutively.

Important Information for OSAP Recipients

You are required to declare CRB as “other income” on your OSAP application if you are receiving CRB during your OSAP study period and are earning more than $5,600 in total income in a single semester. For example, if you are receiving full-time OSAP from September 2020 to April 2021, and you are receiving a CRB installment in September for $2,000, and also started a part-time job in October 2020, earning $5,000 before the end of December, you are required to declare your earnings.

To update your application, please scan and upload, external link, opens in new window a letter to your OSAP account, external link, opens in new window using the “optional/other uploads” button on your Required Documents page including the following information:

  1. Your full name, Ryerson student number, and the date 
  2. The amount of CRB received during your study period and the period during which you are receiving these payments, e.g. $2,000 from CRB in September 2020
    1. Upload your letter through your online OSAP account using the “optional/other uploads” button on the Required Documents page. Your OSAP funding will be recalculated based on the updated income information.

What is it?

Temporary income support to employed or self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they’re sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.

Am I Eligible?

Open to all who reside in and are present in Canada; you do not need to be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada to be eligible, however you do need a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).

The CRSB is divided up into one-week eligibility periods. To be eligible for the CRSB, applicants must meet the following conditions for the one-week period they are applying for:

  • You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you’re self-isolating for one of the following reasons:
    • You are sick with COVID-19 or may have COVID-19
    • You are advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19
    • You have an underlying health condition that puts you at greater risk of getting COVID-19
  • You are not receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period

How do I claim it?

Through the CRA website; the easiest way is through CRA My Account, external link, opens in new window. You can receive up to $500 (before deductions). The CRSB does not renew automatically; you must reapply if your situation continues. You can only apply for a maximum of two eligibility periods between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. Even if you are sick or self-isolating beyond two periods, you can only apply for a maximum of two periods.

Important Information for OSAP Recipients

You are required to declare CRSB as “other income” on your OSAP application if you are receiving CRSB during your OSAP study period and are earning more than $5,600 in total income in a single semester. For example, if you are receiving full-time OSAP from September 2020 to April 2021, and you are receiving a CRSB installment in September for $2,000, and also started a part-time job in October 2020, earning $5,000 before the end of December, you are required to declare your earnings.

To update your application, please scan and upload, external link, opens in new window a letter to your OSAP account, external link, opens in new window using the “optional/other uploads” button on your Required Documents page including the following information:

  1. Your full name, Ryerson student number, and the date 
  2. The amount of CRSB received during your study period and the period during which you are receiving these payments, e.g. $2,000 from CRSB in September 2020
    1. Upload your letter through your online OSAP account using the “optional/other uploads” button on the Required Documents page. Your OSAP funding will be recalculated based on the updated income information.

What is it?

Temporary income support to employed or self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they need to care for their child under 12 years of age or a family member who needs supervised care.

Am I Eligible?

Open to all who reside in and are present in Canada; you do not need to be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada to be eligible, however you do need a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).

The CRCB is divided up into one-week eligibility periods. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria for the eligibility period you are applying for:

  • You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are caring for a family member
  • You are caring for your child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care because they are at home for one of the following reasons:
    • Their school, daycare, day program, or care facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19
    • Their regular care services are unavailable due to COVID-19
    • The person under your care is:
      • Sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19
      • At risk of serious health complications if they get COVID-19, as advised by a medical professional
      • Self-isolating due to COVID-19
  • You are the only person in your household applying for the benefit for the week
  • You are not receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period

How do I claim it?

Through the CRA website; the easiest way is through CRA My Account, external link, opens in new window. You can receive up to $500 (before deductions). The CRCB does not renew automatically; you must reapply if your situation continues. You can apply for a maximum of 26 eligibility periods between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021. They do not have to be taken consecutively.

For the CRCB, there can be only one application per household.

Reference

What is It?

For homeowners facing financial hardship from COVID-19 (like unemployment or reduced employment), their mortgage payments can be deferred for up to 6 months.

Am I Eligible?

Your lender - either your bank or your mortgage professional - can tell you if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time.

How Do I Claim It?

Contact your mortgage lender to create a deferral agreement. Please note that you will have to repay the amounts of the skipped payments, including both the principal and interest, once the agreement has come to an end. The agreement does not cancel, erase, or eliminate the deferred payments.

Reference

Provincial Government Support

What Is It? 

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) is a one-time credit offered to eligible Ontarians towards their electricity or natural gas bill who are in arrears (or behind/past due on their utility bill) due to COVID-19. This program provides emergency financial assistance only.

Residential consumers may be eligible for up to $750 in support towards their electricity and natural gas bills, and can apply for on-bill credits for both electricity and natural gas separately. 

Funds are limited and available only on a first-come/first-served basis.

Am I Eligible? 

As of January 14, 2021, residential electricity and gas consumers are now eligible for CEAP if they meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant has an account with an electricity distributor, a unit sub-meter provider (USMP) or a natural gas distributor. Only the customer who is the account holder can submit an application for CEAP.
  • The applicant has overdue amounts owing on the day they apply from one or more electricity or gas bills since March 17, 2020. 

How Do I Claim It? 

CEAP is being delivered by electricity distributors, gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers (USMPs). 

You must apply for CEAP directly through your utility or USMP. Contact your utility or USMP directly as each may have a unique approach for application in-take.

Application forms for both electricity and gas assistance can be downloaded through the CEAP website, external link, opens in new window. There is currently no deadline to apply.

Note: Some consumers have been receiving calls advising them that a home inspection is required in order to qualify for the CEAP. The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has confirmed that this is not true. A home visit is not required to qualify for the CEAP. If you think you may have been a victim of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, external link, opens in new window to file a report.

What Happens After I Apply? 

If your utility or USMP has CEAP funds remaining, the credit will be applied to the next available bill issued to you after your CEAP application has been assessed as complete by your utility or USMP.

Customers who previously applied but were denied due to a lack of funding will have their original applications reviewed by utilities and will be contacted if they meet the eligibility criteria and if funding is available.

Who Do I Contact? 

For questions and assistance, please refer directly to your utlity or PDF fileUSMP’s website, external link, opens in new window.

Reference(s) 

What is it?

Emergency financial assistance for Ontarians in a crisis or emergency situation.

Provides $733 for a month (more if you have children) for those requiring assistance with food or shelter costs.

Support can last up to 48 days depending on the situation.

Am I Eligible?

Applicants must be in a crisis or emergency situation. This includes:

  • Being affected by COVID-19;
  • Facing eviction;
  • In or leaving an abusive relationship; or
  • Worried about your safety

Ontarians getting assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program do not qualify.

How do I claim it?

Apply online via the Ontario Government website, external link, opens in new window.

Reference

What is it?

Additional financial assistance for those currently receiving social assistance and are facing additional costs related to COVID-19.

Additional $100 for single individuals, $200 for families.

Am I Eligible?

Must be a current recipient of OW or ODSP.

How do I claim it?

Apply by calling your local Ontario Works office, external link, opens in new window Caseworker.

Visit the Ministry of Community Services website , external link, opens in new windowfor more details.

Reference

Student Loans

What is Changing?

  • Increasing the weekly amount to $350 from $210 for 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Removing the expected student and spousal contributions in 2020-2021 (federal only, not provincially).

What is Changing?

  • Double the CSG for all eligible full-time students up to $6,000, and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-2021.
  • CSG-PD (permanent disability) and CSG for students with dependents would also be doubled to $4,000, up from $2,000.

Additional Supports

  • $75 million available to Indigenous post-secondary students.
  • $290 million available to granting councils to help fund expiring federal graduate student research scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships, and federal research grants.
  • $7.5 million to support student and post-doctoral research placements within the National Research Council.
  • $80 million for the Student Work Placement program to support post-secondary students to obtain paid work experience related to their field.
  • $15 million for Supports for Student Learning Program to support youth to complete high school and transition to post-secondary.

References