This outline is meant to provide a list of programs that seniors can access from the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories related to the COVID-19 crisis. Information is taken from relevant websites. It does not cover support for businesses or payments for families with children. If you know of
any other measures not mentioned, please let us know by sending an email to:
We will do our best to keep this list up to date.
Government of Canada
One time special payment with GST credit
For over 12 million low- and modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, the Government will provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year. The average boost to income for those benefiting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.
Indigenous Community Support Fund
A fund of $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities. (Some of these funds may be targeted to seniors and elders).
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
If you as a worker and have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide you with temporary income support.
The CERB will provide you with $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
The benefit will be available to workers:
Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits:
Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.
Copy this link and put in search engine (Google, Internet Explorer) to find more information and what day of the week you should apply. Applications starting on April 6th, 2020.
Reduced minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds
Reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be
required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.
Flexibility for Taxpayers
Copy this link and insert in search engine (Google, Internet Explorer) for more info:
Later filing date
For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1,However, individuals who expect to receive benefits under the GSTC or the Canada Child Benefit should not delay the filing of their return to make sure their entitlements for the 2020-21 benefit year are properly determined.
Later payment date
The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts they owe on or after today and before September 2020.
This relief would apply to tax balances due, as well as instalments, under Part I of the Income Tax Act. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period.
Electronic signatures allowed
In order to reduce the necessity for taxpayers and tax preparers to meet in person during this difficult time, effective immediately the Canada Revenue Agency will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements of the Income Tax Act, as a temporary administrative measure. This provision applies to authorization forms T183 or T183CORP, which are forms that are signed in person by millions of Canadians every year to authorize tax preparers to file taxes.
Support for completing taxes
The Canada Revenue Agency is adapting its Outreach Program to support individuals during COVID-19. Through this service, the Canada Revenue Agency offers help to individuals to better understand their tax obligations and to obtain the benefits and credits to which they are entitled. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone, and through webinar, where possible. See above link.
Government of Northwest Territories
If you are on Income Assistance (IA)
To support residents, families and seniors, the GNWT is:
• Providing a one-time emergency allowance for IA clients registered in March to help them with a 14-day supply of food and cleaning products as the stores have them available.
Individuals received $500 and families received $1,000.
• Directing that all clients will engage in only one Productive Choice: taking care of themselves and their families. They will not be required to report on this productive choice.
• Requesting that all current IA clients update their statements and authorizations. This will help streamline administrative processes so Client Services Officers (CSOs) can focus on working with clients.
• Exempting monetary donations from being counted as income, beginning in April. These may be in the form of gifts from friends, family, benevolent organizations or Indigenous governments.
• “Payrolling” all clients so that they do not have to report each month. This will ensure they receive their payments consistently, and will avoid in-person reporting.
• Modifying the intake approach for new clients. Over the coming months, new clients will work with CSOs over the phone or by appointment as necessary, requiring minimal verification to ensure they are registered as quickly as possible. They will be automatically assessed for both basic needs and enhanced benefits.
Seniors Home Heating Subsidy
ECE is ensuring Seniors remain protected in their homes while still receiving their subsidy consistently. Planned approaches include:
All 2019-20 subsidy applications will be carried over for two years rather than one, to ensure Seniors do not have to leave their homes unnecessarily.
Assistance by phone for seniors registering for the first time.
Modest increase in subsidy amount, beginning April 1, 2020.
Zone 1 – Behchokǫ̀ , Detah, Enterprise, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, K’atl’odeeche, Kakisa, Ndılǫ and Yellowknife: $2900
Zone 2 – Fort Liard, Fort Resolution, Gamètì, Inuvik, Jean Marie River, Nahanni Butte, Whatı̨̀and Wrigley : $3,900
Zone 3 – Aklavik, Colville Lake, Délın ̨̀ e, K’ásho Got’iné, Fort McPherson, Łutselk’e, Norman Wells, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Trout Lake, Tsiigehtchic, Tuktoyaktuk, Tulita, Ulukhaktok and Wekweètì: $4,600
Continued support available by phone.
Copy this link and put in search engine (Google, Internet Explorer) to find contact numbers for local and regional service centre.