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COVID-19: Support for people

Learn what financial, mental health and other supports are available during COVID-19

Financial support

Learn what financial support is available in addition to Employment Insurance and other relief from the federal government’s COVID-19covid 19 Economic Response Plan during COVID-19.

Financial help for basic needs

If you are in a crisis or emergency situation, need help paying for food and housing, and are not already on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you can apply for COVID-19covid 19 emergency assistance.

Apply for COVID-19 emergency assistance

Current Ontario Works and ODSP recipients

If you currently receive income support from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, you will continue to receive your regular monthly payments.

If you need money to travel to get a COVID-19covid 19 vaccination, speak with your caseworker.

If you have other exceptional COVID-19covid 19-related costs, ask your case worker about discretionary benefits.

Get information about your Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program.

Find your Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program office.

Shelters and food banks, charities and non-profits

Ontario-funded emergency shelters for women and children fleeing violence are available to offer support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We are also giving funding directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers, District Social Services Administration Boards and Indigenous Program Administrators to support local needs.

Contact your local municipality.

Changes to renting

We’ve made temporary changes to residential rental processes.

Learn about the changes and where tenants and landlords can get help.

We also passed legislation to freeze rent at 2020 levels. This means that rents will not increase in 2021 for the vast majority of renters.

Learn more about the rent freeze.

Help for electricity bills

Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

Through LEAP, low-income customers who are in arrears and may be facing disconnection can get direct support to pay bills and ensure electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected.

If you are behind on your bill and may face having your service disconnected, you could qualify for up to:

  • $500 for electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated electrically)

  • $500 for natural gas bills

COVID-19covid 19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)

The CEAP program is ending. Utilities will continue to provide CEAP credits if they have funds remaining.

Contact your electricity and/or natural gas utility to find out if they are still accepting applications.

More information is available from the Ontario Energy Board.

Interest rate and fee caps on payday loans

Effective August 20, 2020, amendments to the Payday Loans Act, 2008, will help individuals facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.

As of August 20, 2020, the interest that lenders can charge on payday loans in default will be limited to a maximum interest rate of 2.5% per month (non-compounded) on the outstanding principal. This will provide relief to borrowers who are unable to repay their loans on time.

These amendments also establish a maximum fee of $25 that may be charged for dishonoured or bounced cheques or pre-authorized debits, effective August 20, 2020. This fee may only be charged once, regardless of the number of times a payment instrument is dishonoured.

Supports for children and youth

Child welfare

Children’s aid societies continue to operate and provide services to children, youth and families. Societies are being encouraged to use technology where possible and appropriate, while also observing local public health recommendations. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, youth in care who turn 18 and former youth in care who turn 21 will not age out of the supports and services they are currently receiving through children’s aid societies.

Guidance in congregated care settings

Get information about children’s aid societies

Children with special needs

Service providers are offering some services through telephone and video applications where appropriate and have resumed offering some in-person services for children with special needs and their families, in accordance with public health guidelines. You can contact your service provider for updated information and to discuss what services may be available.

Get information about services for children with special needs

Get information about services under the Ontario Autism Program

Youth justice facilities

Some services at provincially-operated youth justice facilities and probation offices are cancelled or are being provided through technology.

Get information about Youth justice facilities

Emergency shelters and other support services

Women and children’s shelters

Ontario funded emergency shelters for women and children fleeing violence are available to offer support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police.

To find support in your area, call one of the provincial crisis lines or contact Ontario 211 by phone at 2-1-1 or 1-877-330-3213 (toll-free), and TTY at 1-888-340-1001.

Guidance in congregated care settings

Get information about emergency shelters

Human trafficking services and supports

Services for victims and survivors of human trafficking may be affected during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please contact your nearest service provider for updated information.

Get information about human trafficking supports

Developmental services

Developmental services agencies continue to support people with developmental disabilities during the COVID-19 outbreak, but some offices or programs may be closed or impacted, and visits to residential programs may be restricted to help protect residents and staff. Please contact your service provider for updated information.

Guidance in congregated care settings

Get information about developmental services.

Child and spousal support payments

The Family Responsibility Office (FRO) continues to help families get the support they are entitled to by collecting, distributing and enforcing child and spousal support payments during the COVID-19 outbreak. FRO’s in-person service counter is closed, but service is available by phone and online.

Get information about the Family Responsibility Office

Settlement services for newcomers

Ontario funded settlement agencies are not currently providing in-person settlement services. However, many settlement agencies are offering services remotely, online and by phone to help newcomers and refugees find the services they need to integrate into Ontario. Settlement information and resources are also available in multiple languages through

Get information about settlement agencies

Get information about adult language training courses

Extensions on validations and deadlines

Driver’s licenses, vehicle and carrier products

Learn about expiry-date extensions for driver’s licenses, vehicle and carrier products and services due to COVID-19.

Health cards

You do not need to renew your health card until further notice. Recently expired health cards will be accepted.

Ontario Autism Program registration

We’ve extended the deadline to submit your Ontario Autism Program registration form and supporting documents to be eligible for interim one-time funding. Once we’ve set a new deadline we’ll announce it on the Autism in Ontario page.

Learn more:

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