COVID-19 – Support for Basic Needs
Last reviewed/updated: 11:55 a.m., June 29, 2020
Food Access and Nutrition
The Financial Relief Navigator (FRN), from Prosper Canada, is an online tool that helps Canadians access critical emergency benefits and financial relief from governments, financial institutions, phone companies and internet providers. The FRN acts as a one-stop portal where Canadians can access relief measurers from all of these places.
https://financialreliefnav.prospercanada.org/benefits (Prosper Canada)
The Peterborough Community Legal Centre has developed a COVID-19 Financial Relief Chart which outlines various benefits available for families, seniors, students, and other vulnerable groups.
This federal website outlines Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, with specific support for individuals, businesses and industries.
Some key benefits include:
- Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits:
Workers who are sick or quarantined due to COVID-19 can apply, if they have worked 600 hours in the last 52 weeks. Benefits of up to 15 weeks. Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free) to have the one-week waiting period removed.
- Employment Insurance Regular Benefits:
Workers who qualify will receive benefits from between 14 – 45 weeks. 55% of a worker’s earning, up to a maximum of $573 per week.
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): (replaces earlier Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit)
The CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB will apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). People who are currently receiving EI benefits are not eligible.
It will provide workers (including self-employed and contract workers) with $2,000 per month for up to 4 months, if they have lost income due to COVID-19. Recipients must have earned $5,000 or more in the last 12 months.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is accessible through a secure web portal.
You may also apply by telephone at 1-800-959-2019.
- Canada Child Benefit:
May, 2020, payment will be increased by up to $300 per child, for one time only.
Support for Families Benefit:
The new Support for Families initiative offers a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.. Families can complete a simple online application at Ontario’s Support for Families web page to access this financial support. Parents already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.
Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP):
Additional one time emergency discretionary benefits may be available for recipients of social assistance. This funding can be used to meet a broad range of needs, for example: cleaning supplies, transportation, food or clothing that individuals and families may require due to COVID-19. Emergency benefits for COVID-19 related expenses are the same for both programs: up to $100 for single individuals and up to $200 for families. Ontario Works and ODSP recipients can access emergency benefits by calling their caseworker.
Social Assistance Treatment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
Ontario will partially exempt income received under the CERB for OW and ODSP clients who were on the program prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. This approach enables existing clients to partially stack CERB and SA payments, and to continue to access health and other benefits while receiving CERB.
For existing Ontario Works (granted prior to March 1, 2020) and all ODSP applicants/recipients CERB payments will qualify for a partial exemption: the first $200, and 50 per cent of each additional dollar received in a month will be exempt.
For new and recent Ontario Works applicants – those granted on or after March 1, 2020–CERB payments will be deducted dollar-for-dollar when determining eligibility for social assistance.
For more information please call your local office.
Provincial Emergency Assistance:
Under the provincial Emergency Assistance program, financial support is available to Peterborough City and County residents who are in financial crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and who can’t access other financial support through Social Assistance or federal emergency financial support programs.
Individuals who have been laid off or who are unable to work due to COVID-19 may receive up to $1,170 and families with two children could receive up to $2,000 for a 48-day period, if eligible. The money can be used to cover needs such as food, rent, medicine, and other essential items.
Applications for emergency assistance can be completed online or by phone. The City’s Social Services division can assist with applications and enquiries. Please call 705-748-8830 then choose menu option 2 or call toll free at 1-855-738-3755 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday for further information or to have an application completed. Applications can also be done online at www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/apply_online.aspx.
Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payments:
GAINS provides a monthly, non-taxable benefit to low-income Ontario seniors. Individuals will receive up to $166 per month and couples will receive up to $332 per month. These doubled payments will continue for six months. Payments are being automatically doubled for current GAINS recipients ? no additional applications are required.
Food Access and Nutrition
- Food Banks and Food Programs in the City and County are listed on the Peterborough Food Calendar.
- Food Access Support for Seniors is available through Community Care, 705-742-7067. Services include meals on wheels delivery, transportation, and reassurance calls.
- Grocery Stores and Pharmacy information is available on the City of Peterborough List including payment and delivery options.
- Local Food Peterborough – localfoodptbo.ca
Share your questions with a Registered Dietitian:
- Telehealth Registered Dietitians can meet with you over the phone:
Call 1-866-797-0000 (press 1 for English, then press 2 to speak with a dietitian between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
- Dietitians in Peterborough Directory – List of local dietitians and nutrition services.