SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE

GENERAL SUPPORTS

Targeted Relief to Keep Electricity Bills Low

We are keeping the cost of energy low for families, small businesses, and farmers by stabilizing electricity rates and providing customers with more choice and energy assistance programs.

Customers eligible for the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) will automatically receive a 33.2% reduction off their energy bill when new electricity rates for Regulated Price Plan (RPP) customers come into effect on November 1, 2020.

As of November 1st, customers who pay time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates will have the flexibility to choose an electricity bill structure that best suits their lifestyle, choosing between TOU and tiered rates (flat-rate).

Our government is also making it easier for families and businesses to receive support on their overdue electricity bills through the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Any residential, small business or registered charity customer with overdue electricity or natural gas bill will now be eligible to apply. A residential customer can receive up to $750 for their electricity bill and an additional $750 for their natural gas bill. Small businesses can receive up to $1500 each.

Contact your energy provider if you would like to opt-in for tiered rates:

Alectra Utilities, Innpower, or Hydro One.

More electricity support programs are available for low-income individuals at the Ontario Energy Board website. 

Mental Health Measures

The Government of Canada will work with the provinces to invest $240 million to develop and expand virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians. This is in addition to the Government of Ontario’s commitment to providing emergency funding of up to $12 million to expand online and virtual mental health supports for Ontarians.

Services include:

  • ConnexOntario: Adults and frontline workers who are dealing with the realities of COVID-19 can call ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600 for mental health, addictions, and problem gambling support.

  • BounceBack: A free, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program that provides guided mental health self-help supports for adults and youth 15+ using workbooks, online videos, and phone coaching. Call 1-866-345-0224.

  • Kids Help Phone: Children and youth 18 and under who need to talk to someone about their mental health can call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, for 24/7 virtual, phone, and text support.

  • Good2Talk: A phone and texting service that provides confidential support to post-secondary students. Call 1-866-925-5454.

 

Please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/find-mental-health-support to find additional resources available for General, Indigenous Communities, Young People, Farmers, Workplace Mental Health, and First Responders.

For constituents currently receiving mental health and addiction services and supports, please contact your current service provider, including community-based mental health and addiction agencies to learn about potential virtual care options. Many are modifying their services to move towards virtual care, meeting clients by phone or secure video-conferencing, if appropriate.

SUPPORT FOR SENIORS

Dental Care for Low-Income Seniors

Low-income seniors can access free, comprehensive dental care through the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program. 

A Senior is eligible for the Program if they:

  • Are 65 years of age or older;

  • Are a Resident of Ontario;

  • Are a Single senior with annual net income of $19,300 or less, or senior couples (one or both people aged 65 or older), with a combined annual net income of $32,300 or less; and

  • Have no access to any other form of dental benefits, including through government programs such as Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), Ontario Works (OW), or the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB).

Eligible seniors can apply at seniors.accerta.ca

Ontario 211

Seniors, people with disabilities, and others in need of assistance can also be connected to essential services in their community at any time.

Visit www.211ontario.ca or by dialling 211 or 1-877-330-3212 (toll-free). TTY service is also available by dialling 1-888-340-1001.

Ontario Community Support Program

The province is working with the Ontario Community Support Association to launch a new Ontario Community Support Program to expand existing MEals on Wheels services to reach low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions across Ontario. 

To find a Meals on Wheels provider and request service, visit the Ontario Community Support Association's website. 

Seniors' Home Safety Tax Credit

Providing a new, refundable tax credit for the 2021 tax year, to help seniors retain their independence and live in their homes safely and longer. 

The credit applies to expenses that assist in making homes safer and more accessible for seniors. This is available to senior homeowners, renters, or people who live with relatives who are seniors. 

Find out if you're eligible at Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit | Ontario.ca

SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you are eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Learn more and apply.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Learn more and apply.

Updated Screening Protocols For Children

Ontario has amended the COVID-19 School and child care screening guidance on the advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health to provide information that will help parents determine when it is most appropriate for students, children and their families to seek a test for COVID-19.

Learn more and apply.

Job Protected Leave For Employees & Families

The Ontario Legislature passed legislation to protect workers in quarantine, isolation or caring for family at home. The legislation eliminated the need for a doctor’s note to take leave due to COVID-19, and provide job protection for employees who are unable to work because they are:

  1. Under medical investigation, supervision or treatment for COVID-19;

  2. Acting in accordance with an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act;

  3. In isolation or quarantine;

  4. Acting in accordance with public health direction;

  5. Directed by an employer not to work;

  6. Providing care to a person for a reason related to COVID-19.

Ontario Child Care Benefit

Families can claim up to 75% of eligible child care expenses, including services provided by child care centres, by family members or in day-camps.

To learn more, visit Ontario Child Care Tax Credit | Ontario.ca

Tax Relief for Low-Income Ontarians

Provides up to $850 a year in provincial income tax relief to low-income workers. A single person who works full-time at minimum wage will receive $850 in tax relief and pay no Ontario income tax.

To learn more, visit Low-Income Workers Tax Credit | Ontario.ca

SUPPORT FOR LOW/MODEST
INCOME & THE MOST VULNERABLE

Expanding Eligibility For Low-Income

Energy Assistance Program

$9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low‑income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID‑19 outbreak.

Contact your utility provider to apply.

Expanding Access To Emergency Assistance

Under Ontario Works

Expanding access to temporary emergency assistance for those in financial crisis who have no access to other supports. This funding will help individuals in financial crises cover costs for food, rent, medicine, transportation and other services during this public health crisis. 

For those receiving social assistance who need increased support, we are expanding discretionary benefits, making funds for extraordinary needs more flexible and accessible, while ensuring there is no disruption to current assistance.

Individuals can apply at Ontario.ca/socialassistance

SUPPORT FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY

Indigenous Community Support Fund

The Federal Government has provided $685 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.

These funds could be used for measures including, but not limited to:

  • support for Elders and vulnerable community members,

  • measures to address food insecurity,

  • educational and other support for children,

  • mental health assistance and emergency response services.

  • preparedness measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Learn more here about this fund.

Public Health Support

The Federal Government is providing $100 million to support a range of federal health measures, including support for preparedness in First Nation and Inuit communities.

Learn more here about this support. 

Boosting the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program

The Federal Government is providing $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address the increased demand on the program, which will help individuals and families meet their essential living expenses. It will also help hire additional staff to better serve First Nations communities and connect individuals to other government programs.

Learn more here about this program.

SUPPORT FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS

PSW Wage Increase

Ontario recently announced an investment of $461 million to temporarily increase wages for personal support workers (PSWs) and direct support workers in the home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals, and social services sectors.

The increase ranges from $2-$3 per hour and is available from October 1, 2020, through August 23, 2021, to 147,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services.​

 

  • $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in home and community care;

  • $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;

  • $2 per hour for approximately 12,300 eligible workers in public hospitals; and

  • $3 per hour for approximately 47,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living.​

 

Learn more here about this wage increase.

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