March 29, 2020 – COVID-19 Government supports available
Nicole Rothe - Apr 03, 2020
Last week we saw a continuation of the market volatility we have been experiencing. However, on the plus side, we did see 3 consecutive positive days in the market which allowed for some partial portfolio rebounds.
For this update I decided to consolidate some information regarding the federal and provincial benefits that are available during this time. This list is not fully comprehensive but will act as a good starting place for those who may need support during this time.
Provincial Supports –
You can find more information on https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx
Alberta Emergency Isolation Support
If Eligible working Albertans are required to self-isolate or care for someone who is self-isolating, and have a complete loss of income/work, they are eligible for a one-time support payment of $1,146 until EI is effective on April 1st, 2020.
Utility Payment Deferral
Residential customers can now defer natural gas and electricity bill payments for 3 months regardless of service provider. To be eligible you need to be facing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. You would need to call your utility provider to have this arranged.
Alberta has arranged line of credit, loan and mortgage deferrals for up to 6 months with ATB and Servus Credit Union.
- Most other major lending institutions have also come out with COVID19 flexibility measures.
If you need to take advantage of an opportunity like this, it is best to be proactive because many of these institutions will not be flexible once you are behind on a payment.
Education Property Tax Freeze
All property tax payments have a portion that is allotted as an “education property tax”. Residential property tax increases that were proposed to take effect this year will be frozen at last years level.
** Many municipalities are also looking at a deferral of the property tax due date. Please check with your local municipality to see if they have any measures in place.
You can find more information on https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Will provide $2000 a month up to 4 months to workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and who do not have any other income sources. This will also cover parents who are forced to stay at home without pay to care for children.
- workers who are not eligible for EI will also be covered here. This includes the self employed, or contract workers.
Up to 15 weeks of income replacement for Albertans who are unable to work due to illness/quarantine.
- Normal one week waiting period is waived if in isolation
Canada Child Benefit
Eligible parents will receive $300 more per child with their May payment
People that are eligible for quarterly GST rebates will receive a one-time extra payment in May.
- $400 for individuals and $600 for couples
Reduced Mandatory RRIF payments for 2020
Required minimum RRIF payments will be reduced by 25% due to state of the volatile markets.
Personal Income Tax
The income tax deadline for filing personal taxes has been moved to June 1st, 2019, with any payments due August 31, 2019 with no interest due. *** This is not tax advice. Please discuss with your tax advisor/accountant for instructions.
- However, they have indicated that if you receive benefits under the GST/Child tax benefit, you are encouraged not to delay filing your taxes.
I hope that you find this information useful if you are in need during this time.
Nicole Rothe BSc, CFP®
Financial Planner, Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc | Rothe Wealth Management
The opinions expressed are those of the author, Nicole Rothe, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. The information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation, or warranty, express or implied, is made by the writer or Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. or any other person as to its accuracy, completeness or correctness. This publication is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities. If you are not a Canadian resident, this report should not have been delivered to you. This publication is not meant to provide legal or account advice. As each situation is different, you should consult your own professional advisors for advice based on your specific circumstances.
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