If you become unemployed or are experiencing financial strain due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for benefits.

Learn more about benefits and other financial programs and services put in place to assist

Indigenous people that are facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recent announcements and investments can also be found below.

Indigenous Community Support Fund


This fund helps Indigenous communities prevent, prepare and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. This plan includes $305 million for a new, distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. 

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan 


The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Emergency Community Support Fund Open for Applications


The Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund is now open. The Emergency Community Support Fund supports community organizations helping vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis. Community organizations may seek funds to undertake a wide range of activities and to serve a wide range of vulnerable groups.

Extending eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy


The government introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to rehire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, and help better position Canadian companies and other employers to more easily resume normal operations following the crisis. Currently, the CEWS is in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

IAO Guidelines for COVID-19 Emergency Response Funding


To support and address the unique and urgent needs of First Nations during the COVID-19 emergency, the Ontario Government will be providing funding supports for the purchase and distribution of critical supplies, communications, enhanced public health measures, pandemic planning, and self-isolation measures

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find work due to COVID-19.

ISC: Accessing financial benefits and support during the COVID-19

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses. All Indigenous people have access to these benefits. 

Temporary Pandemic Pay for MCCSS funded frontline workers

The temporary pandemic pay is aimed at those workers who are critically important to the province’s response to the crisis, caring for the most vulnerable, and are at a heightened risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of their work on the frontline. The deadline to submit an application is June 30, 2020. Click Read More below to find the Instructions, Guidlines and Eligible Working Template. 

Prime Minister announces additional support for Canadian Seniors - May 12, 2020

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a series of additional measures to help Canadian seniors and provide them with greater financial security in this time of crisis. Read more on these measures below.

The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB)

The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB), a new funding program, provides a Portable Housing Benefit to assist with rental costs. This provincially mandated benefit is available to eligible priority groups who are on the Centralized Waiting List. 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

If you 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.

You can apply directly to the CERB here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html 

Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services - Online Application for Social Assistance

Do you need to apply for COVID-19 emergency assistance? Please use the online application for social assistance. If you are not currently on social assistance and do not want to apply for social assistance, you can still apply for COVID-19 emergency assistance.


You can apply directly for Ontario Social Assistance here: https://saapply.mcss.gov.on.ca/CitizenPortal/application.do 

Language Guide to Federal and Provincial Income Benefits for Those Struggling to Make Ends Meet – Benefit Information


The Government of Canada unveiled some updates and improvements to its emergency income supports for workers who have lost income and work because of COVID-19. Please see below for simplified language guide for those who may be entitled to benefits.

FAQ on Post-Secondary Education Student Supports for Community Members in response to COVID-19  

This is to assist in supporting post-secondary students’ concerns and challenges as a result of COVID-19. In particular, we have provided information on potential areas of financial support for your students and to assist First Nations in administering the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) during these challenging times.


Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy – COVID-19  

To help communities address the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak among people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and to provide additional support to the homeless-serving sector during this period, the Government of Canada has announced an additional investment of $157.5 million for Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.

Latest Updates & Announcements in Employment

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Chiefs of Ontario

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