COVID-19 Emergency Income Supports and Mortgage Relief


Daily Updates

MARCH 31, 2020:

Updated information below. New information includes:

-BC Temporary Rent Supplement
-BC Emergency Worker Benefit
-BC Student Loan Payment Suspension
-BC Hydro Relief
-Fortis BC Refief
-Airbnb Relief for Hosts

MARCH 25, 2020:

Federal Government announces changes to Emergency Care Benefit. Updated income support section below.

Income Supports


Regular Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits:
If you are sick or quarantined, or forced to stay home to care for children AND are traditionally eligible for employment insurance, this program is for you.

It provides up to 15 weeks of income support up to 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573/week.

Apply Here:

-No Doctor’s note/medical certificate will be required
-You will need an ROE from your employer – obtain this ASAP.
-One week waiting period can be waived AFTER your applications submitted.
You MUST CALL 1-833-381-2725 to have your waiting period waived.

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (Previously Emergency Care Benefit - Changed March 25, 2020)

For ANY Canadian WORKER (employed, self-employed) who is not traditionally eligible for employment insurance AND are:

Quarantined or Sick with COVID-19
Taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19
• Working Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school/daycare closures.
• Still employed but hours of work and income are impacted by COVID-19.

This program provides 4 weeks of income support of $2000 per month. Typical Employment insurance will available after the CERB period has expired.

If you have applied for Employment Insurance, but your application has not been processed, your application will be transitioned to a CERB application - you do not need to re-apply.

If you are already receiving Employment Insurance benefits, you are eligible to receive CERB after your EI benefits expire.

Applications will open April 2020 from a soon to be announced PORTAL.

BC Emergency Benefit for Workers:

All BC Residents who receive federal Employment Insurance OR the CERB will be eligible for a one time $1000 payment.

Applications will open soon. Details TBA.

BC Temporary Rental Supplement:

Up to $500/month rental supplement (payable for 3 months) for eligible low to moderate income renters who have been financially affected by COVID-19. 

Applications will open mid-April. FAQ

Increases to CCB Payments:

For individuals/families that receive CCB payments:

A ONE TIME additional $300/child payment will occur for ALL CCB recipients on your May payment. For 2020 Payments: An additional $300/child will be spread out over the 12 annual payments (extra $25/month/child)

Increases to GST Tax Credit:

For individuals that receive quarterly GST Tax Credit Payments:

A ONE TIME special payment equal to DOUBLE your ANNUAL GST Tax Credit Payments to be made in early May, 2020.

Interest Free Suspension of BC and Canada Student Loan Payments:

For individuals that are currently repaying BC and Canada student loans, a 6 month interest free suspension of payments will occur. Starting March 30th.

Retired Individuals:

A 25% reduction in the required minimum withdrawals from RRIFs for 2020 will be implemented to assist with maintaining portfolio values during periods of market volatility.

Extension on Tax Filing Deadlines and Income Tax Due Dates:

Individual returns are now due June 1, 2020. Personal Income tax payments can be deferred until September 2020.

Mortgage Payment Relief


If you need immediate payment relief in the next 7 days, contact your bank NOW.

1) Understand your situation BEFORE you call. If you do not require immediate relief (help with a payment within 7 days), PLEASE DO NOT CALL YOUR BANK OR LENDER right now.

Call centres are working under extremely difficult conditions – entire offices are being transitioned to work-from-home in the midst of a tidal wave of inquiries.

2) If you can foresee a future need for relief, take the time to understand when and what kind of relief you will need.

It may be possible to re-structure your mortgage to achieve a more desirable outcome than what current relief programs are offering.

Consider planning for your future needs NOW, before potential job loss occurs. Your mortgage broker can help with this.

3) If/when you have exhausted all relief options with your bank, there may be other avenues for relief – including relief from Mortgage Insurers.

Start this conversation with your mortgage broker. If they are unwilling to help, email me.


Banks and Lenders are rushing to implement programs to help and are working diligently to help everyone who is calling. Be honest with your service representative and find a reasonable solution that gives you some breathing room.

Understand that you may not automatically qualify for 6 months of payment relief – there are a range of other creative solutions that may help your specific situation.

Understand that we must ALL DO OUR PART to minimize the pressure on the banking system.

Please do your part to minimize systemic strain on our economic and banking system.

Only ask for what you really need.

Lender/Bank Contact Information:

Here is a list of Banks/Lenders and their contact information. Special COVID-19 Bank Notices have been linked from the lender's name.

ATB |  1-800-332-8383
B2B | 1 800 263 8349
BMO |  1-877-788-1923
Bridgewater | 1-866-243-4301
CIBC | 1-800-454-9030
CMLS Financial | 1-888-995-2657
Coast Capital Savings | 1-888-517-7000
Equitable Bank |  1-888-334-3313
Connect First |  403-736-4000
First National |  1-888-488-0794 |
Haventree | 1-855-272-0051
Home Trust | 1-855-270-3630
Island Savings Credit Union | 1-888-597-1083
HSBC | 1-888-310-4722
ICICI Bank | 1-888-424-2422
Manulife |  1-877-765-2265
MCAP | 1-800-265-2624
Merix & Lendwise | 1-877-637-4911
RBC | 1-866-809-5800 | Make a Phone Appointment Online
RFA & Street Capital Mortgages | 1-877-416-7873
RMG Mortgages | 1-866-809-5800 |
ScotiaBank |  1-800-472-6842
Servus |  1-877-378-8728
TD Canada Trust: | 1-888-720-0075 | Calling from within your mobile app will greatly reduce wait times.
 Van City Credit Union | 1-888-826-2489

Other Household Relief


Families with Children Property Tax Deferrals:
If you have kids under the age of 18 living with you, you can defer your annual property taxes. 

Program Details Here

Regular Property Tax Deferrals:
If you're 55 or older OR you're a disabled individual, you can defer your annual property taxes.

Program Details here


Customer Crisis Fund:
This is a program that offers a grant up to $600 for residential BC Hydro customers facing hardship. Eligibility as follows:

-Principle residence accounts only
-Accounts must have overdue balance of $1000 or less and should have demonstrated some attempt at repayment.

Program Details Here
Apply Here

COVID-10 Customer Assistance Program:
Allows residential and commercial customers the option to defer bill payments OR arrange for flexible payment options with no penalty. 

Call 1-800-BCHYDRO (1-800-224-9376) to arrange.


Flexible Payment Options
Fortis BC will work with you on a case-by-case basis to create a flexible payment solution.

-Late payment fees are waived indefinitely
-Service disconnections are suspended indefinitely
-Carbon Tax increase is delayed

Program Details Here