MEMBER UPDATE: March 19, 10:30AM

Businesses and Workers to Benefit from Federal Funding

Workers and businesses hurt by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic may be eligible for part of the $82 billion aid package announced Wednesday by the Prime Minister. The package includes $27 billion in direct support for those struggling to find work or care for family members.

While the funding is not available yet, the government has released guidelines on who can apply, and how much relief Canadians can expect. Here's how they'll work:

  • Whether you qualify for EI will still depend on your specific situation, like regional employment rates and hours worked in the last 52 weeksApply as soon as possible to find out if you qualify; waiting more than four weeks after your last day of work means you could lose benefit access.
  • New rules allow quarantined workers to apply without a medical certificate or employment records. If you can't apply because you are quarantined, you can also file for EI sickness benefits later and have the claim backdated. 
  • To apply for EI benefits, visit the government’s website. You can also apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government's toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725, or teletypewriter at 1-800-529-3742. 
  • The federal aid package also includes the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit. The Emergency Care Benefit provides up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks to those affected by COVID-19. It's intended for those who don't qualify for EI, can't go to work and don't have paid sick leave.

Both benefit plans will be available to apply for in April, through the CRA website

Got questions about whether or not you, your staff, or your tenants qualify? Contact ONPHA’s member helpline at to get in touch.