Last updated: October 6, 2020 at 11:36 a.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an economic impact on the livelihoods of Toronto residents. This page offers a list of resources which can be used to help minimize those impacts and help get Toronto residents back on their feet.

Service Canada has a dedicated phone line for inquiries regarding Employment Insurance (EI) claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic: 1-833-381-2725.

Important information for workers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work:

  • Workers should continue to apply for?Employment Insurance
  • Individuals who have already applied for Employment Insurance will be automatically enrolled for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
  • Visit the?Canada Revenue Agency website for additional information
  • Service Canada?continues to accept?online Employment Insurance and Pension applications.

The Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides an overview of the Federal Government’s announced support for Canadians.

Topics include:

  • Income Support for Individuals Who Need it Most
  • Flexibility for Taxpayers
  • Mortgage Default Management Tools
  • Role of Financial Institutions

A list of resources on topics including employment insurance, work-sharing program, the labour program and federally regulated workplaces, and the repayment of student loans can be found at?Employment and Social Development Canada.

The City has prepared a fact sheet outlining Employment Insurance. People are encouraged to file a claim as soon as they lose their job.

The City has prepared a fact sheet outlining Employment Insurance Sick Benefits as they relate to COVID-19. People are encouraged to file a claim as soon as they have been advised to quarantine.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (closed)

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provided financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who were directly affected by COVID-19. Recipients received $2,000 for a four week period.

Apply retroactively

Although CERB has ended, you can still apply for a period retroactively for period seven (August 30 to September 26, 2020).

Transition to New Benefits

If you still need income support, find out if you are eligible for Employment Insurance or other Recovery benefits.

The Employment Standards Amendment Act provides job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or to those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or child care closures or to care for other relatives.

The Government of Canada launched an Insured Mortgage Purchase Program?to expand the stable funding available to banks and mortgage lenders in order to ensure continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses.

Bank of Montreal, CIBC,?National Bank of Canada,?Royal Bank of Canada,?Scotiabank?and?TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as:

  • pay disruption due to COVID-19,
  • childcare disruption due to school closures,
  • those facing illness from COVID-19.

This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.

More information is available at?Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action To Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19.

Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) continues to provide critical services to vulnerable residents and is maintaining a level of service to ensure the provision of critical financial benefits and supports for low-income clients and vulnerable residents.

Provision of critical services primarily by phone include:

  • new applications for?Ontario Works (OW) financial assistance (by phone) at 416-338-8888
  • ensuring eligible OW clients continue to receive their monthly payments
  • Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) requests
  • continuation of benefits such as special diet, employment related expenses, and medical transportation
  • funeral applications

In-person services are restricted at this time and provided by exception only as most service can be provided to those in need by phone.

Check the?Employment and Social Services section on the Changes to City Services page for updates on impacted services and when they may return to normal service.

If you need help paying for food and housing and are not already receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you can apply for COVID-19 emergency assistance.

There are interest free loans for low-income households for rental arrears or rental deposits. The Toronto Rent Bank provides interest-free loans to Toronto residents who are behind in their rent or need to move to more suitable housing.