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COVID-19 Financial Help

financial help

The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and a number of industries are providing programs and initiatives to support individuals, families and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This page will be updated regularly but please note that information is subject to change. For the most current information on Federal or Provincial initiatives please visit the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario website.

Looking for information on Business Supports? Visit our COVID-19 Business Resources page.

For community information visit our COVID-19 Food and Community Supports page.

person filling out an application on a computerCommunity Pandemic Recovery Fund

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the community in many ways, including the ability for non-profit and community service providers to meet the needs of those they serve. Council has approved the Community Pandemic Recovery Fund to provide funding for programs and services that increase or maintain supports to residents in meeting their basic human service needs.


Individuals and Workers - Financial Support and Relief Programs

Financial Relief Navigator

The Financial Relief Navigator (FRN) is a clear, easy-to-follow resource featuring COVID-19 relief measures from governments, banks, credit unions, and utility, internet and telecom providers.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) has ended. If you were receiving CERB, you may be eligible for one of the new recovery benefits retroactive to September 27, 2020 and available until September 25, 2021.

More information on the transition to new benefits

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI)

Apply for the CRB

Employment Insurance (EI) program

The Government of Canada has made temporary changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to better support Canadians looking for work. 

As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:

  • were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
  • received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  • stopped working through no fault of your own
  • have not quit your job voluntarily
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
  • are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)

If you are eligible for EI you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.

Apply to EI

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:

  • are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
  • are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
  • have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19

Apply for the CRSB

Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS)

If you’re a low-income senior, you may qualify for monthly Guaranteed Annual Income System payments.

Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 announced a temporary top-up to payments made through the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS). Beginning in April 2020 and ending in September 2020, monthly GAINS payment amounts are automatically doubled. This action provides additional and immediate financial support to low-income Ontario seniors who may need more help to cover essential expenses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Learn more.

 Ontario Works
Social assistance payments to ongoing recipients will continue to be issued on the same monthly schedule and by the existing payment method.

New applications for Ontario Works can be started using the online application or by phone at 705-324-9870 or 1-877-324-9870, and press “2”.

COVID-19 Emergency Assistance 

Emergency financial support is also available to Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County residents who are not in receipt of Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program and are in financial crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Emergency Assistance may be available to people who haven’t yet accessed other financial supports, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance Benefits.

To apply for either of these benefits, call our office at 705 324-9870 or toll free 1-877-324-9870 and press “7” to leave a message with your contact information. You can also email and leave a contact number where you can be reached.

Applications for Emergency Assistance can also be started using the online application.

Children and Students - Financial Support and Relief Programs

Ontario Autism Program

Disruptions due to COVID-19

October 2020 clarifications to eligible and ineligible expenses during the COVID-19 outbreak

We are providing further clarifications for eligible and ineligible services and supports that can or cannot be purchased using your childhood budget or interim one-time funding during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Learn more about these temporary measures

 Canada Student Loan Relief

Stressed that you can’t make your loan payment? Already missed a loan payment? The Government of Canada has repayment assistance options that may be able to help. Contact the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) and your provincial or territorial student financial aid office to discuss repayment options.

Home and Life - Financial Support and Relief Programs

 Mortgage Payment Deferral

Homeowners facing financial hardship may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to six months.

The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

To know if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral or to learn what options are available, contact your lender — your bank or your mortgage professional.

Learn more about mortgage payment deferral

 Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
Through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), low-income customers can get direct support to pay bills and ensure electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected during the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you are behind on your bill and may have your service disconnected, you could qualify for:

  • $500 for electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated electrically)
  • $500 for natural gas bills
 MPAC Assessment Delay

The 2021 assessment update (through MPAC) is being postponed; assessed values for 2021 will be based on the same valuation date as 2020

Learn more:

Housing Services - City of Kawartha Lakes

A variety of housing services are provided by the municipality. Visit the Housing Services page for details.

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