Below is a letter by IUOE Canadian Regional Director Lionel Railton with some of the different situations our members may face and how to access support via the federal government. This information is accurate as of April 15, 2020.

Click the link here to download the letter: IUOE COVID-19 – Information for Members

If you have lost your job, even if you don’t qualify for EI; have a job, but are not being paid and asked to work; have a job, but are now being paid less than $1000/month, expected a seasonal job that is no longer available, are taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, have run out of EI benefits since January 1, 2020, are taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19; or you must stay home without pay to take care of children:

Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • You can apply in one of two ways:
    • online through your CRA MyAccount secure portal;
    • by calling either 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041, and providing your SIN number and postal code.
  • Pays $2000 ($500/week) for a 4-week period, backdated to March 15.
  • Benefits should be available 3-5 business days by direct deposit.
  • You are eligible if you satisfy the following conditions:
    • reside in Canada and are 15 years or older;
    • have stopped working due to reasons related to COVID-19;
    • have not quit your job voluntarily;
    • earned a minimum of $5000 income in the last 12 months;
  • Eligibility periods are fixed in 4-week periods. If your situation continues, you can reapply for multiple 4-weeks periods up to 16 weeks (4 periods).
  • In order to help the system process applications, it’s best to apply on the following days based on the month you were born:
    • January, February, or March – Mondays
    • April, May, or June – Tuesdays
    • July, August, or September – Wednesdays
    • October, November, or December – Thursdays
    • Any month – Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
  • These benefits are taxable and you will need to report any payments received on next year’s tax filing.
  • If you’ve already applied for EI, your claim will be moved to the CERB automatically and benefits will be paid from this program first.
  • If you’re currently on EI, you will continue to receive your EI benefits, and if those benefits end before October 3, you can apply for the CERB.

If you are sick, quarantined, or in self-isolation with COVID-19:

Apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • As described above.

Apply for Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits

  • After completing the online form, call 1-833-381-2725 to have the one-week waiting period waived.
  • Have SIN #, first & last day worked, pay stub with highest 2-week pay from the last year, as well as payment information ready.
  • If you apply after quarantine, benefits will be backdated.
  • No sick note will be required.

If you are looking for other ways to help your finances:

  • Income tax filing deadline extended to June 1.
  • Deadline to make income tax payments extended until September 1.
  • Many banks allow deferral of mortgage payments for up to six months. Contact your bank to determine what is available for you.
  • Federal student loan payments are deferred until September 30. This moratorium is interest-free and no interest will accrue during this time.
  • The Canada Child Benefit will have a top-up.
    • An extra $300 per child.
    • Those who already received this benefit do not need to reapply.
    • It will be delivered with the scheduled payment in May.
  • There will be a one-time special top-up on GST payments for low- and modest-income households.
    • An extra $400 for single individuals and up to $600 for couples.
    • No need to apply. If eligible, you will get it automatically.
    • It will be delivered with the scheduled payment in April.