Learn what financial, mental health and other supports are available during COVID-19
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.
Current Ontario Works and ODSP recipients
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.
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.
Changes to renting
We’ve made temporary changes to residential rental processes.
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.
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
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.
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.
Youth justice facilities
Some services at provincially-operated youth justice facilities and probation offices are cancelled or are being provided through technology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Settlement.org.
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.
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.