Confused about Canadian Government Benefits for COVID-19? Here’s a Plain Language Guide

Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau introduced an $82-billion dollar stimulus package to help Canadians through the uncertainties of COVID-19. While grateful for the financial assistance, the many government announcements have also led to confusion among Canadian individuals and business owners unsure of which financial aid they qualify for. 

Jennifer Robinson, a professor at Carlton University, observed what was happening and, in response, created a plain language guide to help provide clarity for those trying to access financial relief. Robinson, a former Parliament Hill staff member to MPs, believes governments are poor communicators. “The way that the government communicates information is not usually the way that Canadians can understand it.” Robinson’s creation is an online Google Document with straightforward instructions on how to apply for things like Employment Insurance, caregiver benefits, rent subsidies, and others.

Some of the questions Robinson’s document provides answers to are:

  • Can I receive caregiver benefits because I’m caring for someone who is sick?
  • Can I take sick leave because I’m ill or self quarantined?
  • Can I receive EI because I’ve been laid off?
  • My employer has not laid me off but I have to stay home to look after my children.  Am I eligible for caregiver benefits or EI?
  • Since I’m self-employed and my work has ground to a halt, what benefits am I eligible for?

Need help understanding what COVID-19 government benefits or financial assistance you, your family or your business may be eligible for? Contact Sloan Partners for a free consultation.

Jerry Paskowitz, CPA, CA, CMC, is a Partner with Sloan Partners with over 30 years’ experience in all tax and financial matters. Get in touch with Jerry by email or phone at 416-649-7702 for an appointment to discuss tax savings opportunities and financial strategies for your business.

Shawn Bausch, CPA (CA), is a Tax Manager at Sloan Group. Get in touch with Shawn by email or call 416-665-7735 (ext. 335) for all of your tax planning needs.

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