This document is a collection of resources on the information, services, and benefits that exist for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians during the COVID-19 crisis.

These include services provided by local groups as well as the provincial government and federal government.

The page will be updated as warranted. Last updated June 18, 2020.

If you spot an error or know of a service not mentioned below, please email fed@nlfl.nf.ca

GENERAL COVID-19 INFORMATION

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Canada’s Economic Response Plan is a resource for a complete list of benefits, services, and other items offered by the Government of Canada to address the COVID-19 crisis.

This guide, created by Carleton University professor Jennifer Robson, explains in plain language:

  • 1) The differences between different government benefits, and
  • 2) How to to apply for those benefits.

Click here to access the Plain Language Guide to Getting Government Aid.

Note: This guide is not an official government document. Click here to learn more.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is handling the distribution of several benefit types during the COVID-19 crisis. These include:

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB)
  • Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
  • Wage Subsidies for Employers
  • Goods & Service Tax Credit (GSTC)

Additionally, the CRA has extended several deadlines for income tax filing for 2019.

  • The new date for filing your personal income tax for the 2019 tax year is June 1, 2020.
  • The new payment date for paying taxes for 2019 is September 1, 2020.

The CRA has more complete information on filing changes here.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a new benefit intended to help low-income earners during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months. The application form will be available through a Government of Canada portal on April 6.

Prepare for your application here.

For simplified information on how to access the CERB, read the Plain Language Guide to Getting Government Aid.

Employment Insurance is for workers who cannot work through no fault of their own. There are several types of EI benefits.

Refer to the “Plain Language Guide to Government Aid” for a simplified explanation of the differences between these services and how to apply.

Note: Due to high volume of applications, it is advised to access these services online. If you require personal assistance with your EI claim, call 1-800-206-7218.

Note: As of April 2, 2020, EI has announced all claims that began after March 15, 2020 will have a weekly rate set at $500.

EI Regular Benefits: If you were laid off.

EI Sickness Benefits: If you personally are sick, injured, or in quarantine.

Note: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, medical notes are waived for the first two weeks of a sickness claim.

EI Caregiver Benefits: For if you are caring for an ill relative or companion.

EI Parental and Maternity Benefits: For if you recently had a baby or are caring for a baby.

Here is the Contact Information for EI

Per this press release from the government of NL on March 14, 2020: Starting March 14, “anyone returning after travelling outside the country is required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days upon their return to Canada. This follows the advice that the Federal Government provided on Friday, March 13. Children who have travelled with their parents must also self-isolate for 14 days, rather than returning to school or daycare.

The Provincial Government will provide compensation to private sector employers to ensure continuation of pay for employees affected by this decision. Details on the required documentation and processes for reimbursement to private sector employers will be released in the coming days.”

No further information has since been released.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced an Essential Worker Support Program. This temporary wage top-up is designated for essential workers employed during Alert level 4 and 5 of the COVID-19 pandemic and have a maximum gross monthly income of $3,000.

Inquiries can be sent by e-mail to EssentialWorkers@gov.nl.ca or by calling toll-free 1-833-771-0696

FOOD & HOUSING

Food Sharing Association of Newfoundland and Labrador: For information about food banks and food sharing services across the province.

The Government of Canada has requested banks and other financial institutions assist during the COVID-19 crisis by offering mortgage derrals.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency. Visit their website for information on mortgage deferrals.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the government has introduced amendments to prevent tenants from being evicted from properties during the COVID-19 crisis.

Source: This news release from March 26, 2020:  Urgent Legislative Sitting Supports Social and Economic Well-Being of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians

Domestic Violence does not stop during a pandemic. Quarantine, self-isolation, and social distancing may mean spending more time than normal with an abusive partner.

If you require housing while fleeing domestic violence in Newfoundland and Labrador, you can visit the Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador to locate a transition house in your area.

Newfoundland Power and NL Hydro have announced they will not disconnect power from users during the COVID-19 crisis. Newfoundland Power will also offer “flexible payment options” for users for cannot make payments during the crisis. Source: Newfoundland Power COVID-19 Response and NL Hyrdo COVID-19 update.

Residents who use other heating methods, such as oil, propane, and wood should contact their service providers for information on what services they are offering during the crisis.

End Homelessness St. John’s has received funding to assist with housing people during the COVID-19 crisis. See here for more information.

United Way of NL – Government of Canada announces $9M for vulnerable seniors funding to United Way Centraide Canada.

“United Way Newfoundland and Labrador is currently working with United Way Centraide as to what this funding will mean to seniors in NL and how they would access funds. What we know on details surrounding the federal funding is limited right now. We are working quickly as we can to find out what this means locally.”

HEALTHCARE & MENTAL HEALTH

Use this test to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and what your actions should be.

Click here to take the COVID-19 self-assessment test.

The 811 Health Line provides answers for non-emergency medical questions or concerns.

If you suspect you have COVID-19, the Health Line suggests doing the online COVID-19 self-assessment test before calling 811.

Visit the 811 Health Line website for more information.

Call 911 if you are in an emergency situation. Advise the dispatcher if you have symptoms of COVID-19. This helps you get the best care for your situation, protects emergency responders from answering calls without proper equipment, and prevents the spread of the virus.

If you are having a mental health emergency, you can call to the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1-888-737-4668 (available 24 hours a day) or use the Crisis Text service by texting 686868

There are several resources for dealing with mental health issues and stress during this difficult time.

  • Mental Health Emergency: For those experiencing a mental health crisis, call the Mental Health Crisis Line. Call 1-888-737-4668 (available 24 hours a day) or use the Crisis Text service by texting 686868

Other:

  • CHANNAL “Warm” Line: For those feeling isolated, alone, stressed, confused, and other negative emotions. You can speak with a trained mental health peer supporter. Call 1-855-753-2560 (from 9:00am to 12:00am daily.)
  • Kids Help Phone: Call a counsellor: 1-800-668-6868
    • $7.5 million in funding has been given to Kids Help Phone to provide young people with the mental health support they need during this difficult time.
  • Government-Sponsored Mental Health Resources
    • Bridge the Gapp online mental health resources
    • E-Mental Health Services
    • Managing Stress During the Pandemic
    • Supporting Children
  • Mental Health Resources

WORKING DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

Remember: You have the right to refuse unsafe work. Here is a step-by-step guide on How to Refuse Unsafe Work from CUPE.

For best practices while working during the COVID-19 crisis, read this guide from the Government of Canada.

If you feel your workplace is not meeting safety standards regarding COVID-19, please share your story with us.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is attempting to provide child care for essential service workers, defined as “all health care workers, paramedics, firefighters, police and correction workers, early childhood educators providing essential worker child care services, and other public servants required to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Click here for the Essential Worker Child Care Service Application Form

If you feel your workplace is not following appropriate safety measures during the COVID-19 crisis, the NLFL has created a form where you can tell us about these issues. We can then forward your concerns on to Occupational Health & Safety or another government department. This process is confidential.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety currently has several free courses available on workplace safety during the COVID-19 crisis. Courses include:

More information: CCOHS-CCHST educational courses

WorkplaceNL announced new employer guidelines regarding COVID-19 on June 18th, 2020.

Source: Here.

OTHER RESOURCES

Call 1-833-552-2368 or your local police department to access information about child protection; adult protection; child, youth and family services’ inquiries; and financial payments.

Source: https://www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2020/cssd/0326n01/

Domestic Violence does not stop during a pandemic. Quarantine, self-isolation, and social distancing may mean spending more time than normal with an abusive partner.

If you require housing while fleeing domestic violence in Newfoundland and Labrador, you can visit the Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador to locate a transition house in your area.

To access information from Status of Women Councils across the province, click here.

There are many other educational resources available from the Government of Canada .

Actions and Responses to COVID–19: The Broadbent Institute has collected information on resources across Canada, as well as calls to action for COVID-19 related activism.