We wanted to stay in touch and to reach out today with important new information regarding new or improved benefits that both the federal and Alberta governments have announced this week. As you are also undoubtedly doing, we are working very hard to cut our costs in every area possible. We will get through this, and what we do now and in the days and weeks ahead will determine the speed and ease with which our lives return to a ‘new normal’.
NEW – TEMPORARY NEW RULES FOR ALBERTA RENTERS AND LANDLORDS EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2020
On March 27th he Alberta government announced temporary measures for landlords and tenants. Kenney said “For as long as the Public Health Emergency remains in effect landlords will be obliged to negotiate payment plans that accommodate their renters’ financial circumstances. Renters will be obliged to pay their rent as fully and consistently as possible, and both the renters and the landlords will be obliged to take into account the financial supports they are getting from the federal and provincial governments.” Premier Kenney further said the government expects that before the end of April renters will begin receiving cash from new Provincial and Federal COVID-19 relief programs, and that the government expected that financial relief received by renters be used to pay rent.
Important– If you think you may not have the full amount of rent when it comes due, call us in advance and together we will make a rent payment plan.
Info for renters (scroll halfway down the page) – Rent Payment Plans – Suspension of Eviction Enforcement to May
All the COVID-19 Support Programs across Canada
This is a great open-source document detailing, searchable, and categorized by need and situation. Updated frequently.
Financial Relief from non-governmental sources
Banks are offering COVID-19 Relief on Auto & Personal Loans, Credit Cards, Credit Lines
ATB Customer Relief Program
Credit Union customers – access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow. Check with your Credit Union.
Important note – a payment deferral is not a forgiveness of the amount owed. It means the payments are deferred to a later time, when we will have to pay them back, plus the cost of interest charges on the interest deferred.
CANADA – COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
NEW PROGRAM: CERB – This is Big!
CERB: Canada Emergency Response Benefit
CERB will give workers who cease working or are receiving reduced employment income because of COVID-19 a $500 per week for 16 weeks. The income will be taxable, but the gov’t will not deduct income tax at source.
See Dutton Employment Law Group’s CERB review and FAQ
NEW PROGRAM FOR BUSINESSES: CEWS
The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy to help Businesses keep & return workers to payroll retroactive to March 15.
It looks like the payment will be capped at 75% of $58,700 annual income, so $1,129 per week for up to 12 weeks.
Canada’s Federal COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
NEW INFO – It appears that the federal government will use the CRA ‘My Account for Individuals’ to register for or to access electronic payments. Apply here for an individual CRA account unless you already have an account.
Link to all Federal COVID-19 Programs
These appear to be Automatic (but you should double-check on that):
- Enhanced Canada Child Benefit for the 2019-2020 benefit year, by $300 per child
- GST Credit increase
- A one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit. The average boost to income for those benefiting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
- Delay to Income Tax filing deadline to June 1, 2020 and payment deadline to Aug 31, 2020
- These you must Apply for:
- EI Work Sharing Program
- Federal Student loan 6-month payment moratorium. Note: this is a deferment, not a forgiveness.
ALBERTA – Immediate relief for Albertans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
NEW INFO – you will need a MyAlberta Digital ID account to receive Alberta government COVID-19 benefits.
There is normally a 10-day waiting period after uploading your driver’s license to the site waiting to receive by mail your verification code.
COVID-19 Supports for Albertans
- Alberta student loan payments can access a 6-month, interest free, moratorium on payments.
- Emergency isolation support – a one-time payment of $1,146 will be distributed to bridge the gap until the federal emergency payments begin in April.
- Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
Important note – a payment deferral is not a forgiveness of the amount owed. It means the payments are deferred to a later time, when we will have to pay them back.
Other Existing Income Supports for Albertans – click the link for details on existing programs
Covid-19 Government Resources for Albertan Renters & Property Owners – courtesy of ‘COVID-19 Resources’
UPDATED – Health Resources official sites
For more information about COVID-19 itself, please check out these resources:
Canada Public Health Services
Check these Alberta Provincial Health web pages:
How to Self-Isolate
Coronavirus Info for Albertans
AHS Help in Tough Times
AHS COVID-19 Self-Assessment
Household Budgeting Apps & Programs
Mvelopes – FREE VERSION is full featured online personal finance App based on the age-old envelope budgeting method, where you put your cash in envelopes, each marked to what the cash is for, and when it is gone, it is gone, resetting during the start of your next pay period.
You Need a Budget (YNAB) – $6.99 / month USD – packs in many features and improvements over earlier versions, and it intuitively teaches some solid budgeting practices.
Quicken – has 4 versions at varying costs Best for Those Who “Want It All”
Vertex42 – FREE – a great variety of Excel Spreadsheet based products. All the Vertex42™ budget templates can be downloaded for personal use and no charge. See their household budget spreadsheet here
We will stay in touch with you – please keep us up to date as much as you like on how you are doing. And don’t hesitate to call either of us on any of this with any questions as they come up. We will always do what we can to help.