What the $82-billion COVID-19 federal aid package means for students

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an $82-billion aid package on March 18, to provide support to Canadian during the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes $27 billion in direct assistance. Student loan pause: Starting March 30 until Sept. 30, anyone repaying their student loan will automatically get a six-month interest-free pause on repayment on the federal […]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an $82-billion aid package on March 18, to provide support to Canadian during the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes $27 billion in direct assistance.

Student loan pause:

  • Starting March 30 until Sept. 30, anyone repaying their student loan will automatically get a six-month interest-free pause on repayment on the federal debt portion of your loan.

Financial support:

  • The one-week waiting period for employment insurance has been waved for individuals in quarantine who claim EI. You are not required to provide a medical certificate to get EI sickness benefits.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency will administer the emergency care benefit giving up to $900 bi-weekly for up to 15 weeks. Applications for the emergency care benefits will be available on the CRA website starting in early April.

The emergency care benefit:

  • It will provide support to self-employed workers, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19, but who do not qualify for EI benefits. For people who are taking care of a family member who is sick with the virus or an elderly parent, this benefit will help too.
  • It will help parents with children who need care because of school closures and cannot earn income during that time. (This will help even if they do not qualify for EI.)

Tax credits:

  • Families with children will receive a boost to the Canada Child Benefit by $300 per child starting in May.
  • The government will provide a one-time payment in May 2020 to double the maximum annual Goods and Services Tax credit payment. This will provide close to $400 for single people and close to $600 for couples.

Extending the deadline for taxes:

  • The deadline to submit your taxes has been extended to June 1. If you owe money on your taxes, you now have until Aug. 31 to pay.

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