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COVID-19 Resources

At FSI we are committed to ensuring you have accurate, up to date information that will help you during this time of need. Please call on us if you have any questions, comments or concerns, or if you just want to connect. We are here for you.
 
We also have a page set up on our website that will help you stay connected with people in your community and will also help you access technology if you need it. Please check back often – things change quickly.
 
Stay home; stay safe; stay connected!
Transport & Travel

TransLink suspending fare collection on the bus system.
Beginning March 20, customers will be asked to board buses using the rear doors only where possible. Given TransLink cannot collect cash fares at the rear doors, we are also suspending fare collection on the bus system.

https://buzzer.translink.ca/2020/03/translink-moves-to-rear-door-boarding-on-buses-to-promote-social-distancing/


BC Transit Coronavirus COVID-19 Information - Rear Door Entry and Fare Collection
For the next 30 days BC Transit is implementing rear door boarding in Victoria and Nanaimo to enhance social distancing for drivers and passengers. 
How to board:
  • Enter and exit the bus using the rear doors
  • Front doors will be used only for accessible boarding
  • Board the bus and find an open space 
  • Fares and passes are not required
  • Use extra caution when boarding the bus
     
Additional COVID-19 travel advice on Health Canada’s website
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latesttravel-health-advice.html


ICBC
Measures taken during this period to ensure health & Safety of customers. Insurance renewals and many other insurance transactions can now be done through phone and email, to help meet British Columbians’ insurance needs without in-person contact. As the situation with COVID-19 evolves, we’ll implement more protocols as needed
https://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/contact-us/Pages/covid-19.aspx


 
Details of Supports for Individuals -
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.


General Support for Individuals 
  • Increasing the Canada Child Benefit this year (For over 3.5 million families with children, who may also require additional support, the Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment. In total, this measure will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.)
  • Extra time to file income taxes (In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.)
  • Mortgage support (The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.)

     
Support for People Facing Unemployment
  • Improved access to Employment Insurance (For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure will be in effect as of March 15, 2020.)
  • The new Emergency Support Benefit (For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact, the Government is introducing an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.)
 
Support for People SIck or Quarantined
  • Improved access to Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit (For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits)
The new Emergency Care Benefit (Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

     
Support for People Unable to Work  Support for People with Low and Modest Income 
  • Increased goods and services tax credit this year
  • Enhancing the Reaching Home initiative (Providing the Reaching Home initiative with $157.5 million to continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.)
  • Support women’s shelters and sexual assault centers (The Government of Canada is supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.)
  • A new Indigenous Community Support Fund (The Government of Canada is providing $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.
Housing

BC Housing has temporarily suspended evictions of tenants in subsidized and affordable housing
https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Covid-19-Bulletin-for-Housing-Providers-Eviction-and-Rent-Adjustment-Notification-March-18th-2020.pdf

 
Health Information

Common Questions answered on COVID 19
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/common-questions

Frequently Asked Questions on New Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Children and Students
http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID19%20QA%20for%20kids%20Feb%202020.pdf

BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool
https://covid19.thrive.health/

information for vulnerable populations 
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/vulnerable-populations

information from BC Children's Hospital is for children with immune suppression
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/vulnerable-populations/children-with-immune-suppression

Harm reduction information for people who use substances in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/vulnerable-populations/people-who-use-substances

 
Details of Supports for Individuals -
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.


General Support for Individuals 
  • Increasing the Canada Child Benefit this year (For over 3.5 million families with children, who may also require additional support, the Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment. In total, this measure will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support.)
  • Extra time to file income taxes (In order to provide greater flexibility to Canadians who may be experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Revenue Agency will defer the filing due date for the 2019 tax returns of individuals, including certain trusts.)
  • Mortgage support (The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.)

     
Support for People Facing Unemployment
  • Improved access to Employment Insurance (For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure will be in effect as of March 15, 2020.)
  • The new Emergency Support Benefit (For Canadians who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID’s impact, the Government is introducing an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the CRA to provide up to $5 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facing unemployment.)
 
Support for People SIck or Quarantined
  • Improved access to Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit (For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits)
The new Emergency Care Benefit (Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
  • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.


Support for People Unable to Work  Support for People with Low and Modest Income 
  • Increased goods and services tax credit this year
  • Enhancing the Reaching Home initiative (Providing the Reaching Home initiative with $157.5 million to continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding could be used for a range of needs such as purchasing beds and physical barriers for social distancing and securing accommodation to reduce overcrowding in shelters.)
  • Support women’s shelters and sexual assault centers (The Government of Canada is supporting women and children fleeing violence, by providing up to $50 million to women’s shelters and sexual assault centres to help with their capacity to manage or prevent an outbreak in their facilities. This includes funding for facilities in Indigenous communities.)
  • A new Indigenous Community Support Fund (The Government of Canada is providing $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.)
 
Support for Seniors
  • Eased the rules for Registered Retirement Income Funds (The Government of Canada is reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. This will provide flexibility to seniors that are concerned that they may be required to liquidate their RRIF assets to meet minimum withdrawal requirements. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.)
Support for Students and Recent Graduates

CRA
New online feature helps Canadians access $1 billion in uncashed tax cheques
Do you have an uncashed tax cheque waiting for you? Check our new feature in My Account to find out.

We’ve issued approximately $1 billion in cheques that have gone uncashed. This money belongs to Canadians and we’re making it easy for them to get the money intended for them.

As of May 2019, approximately 5 million Canadians had an estimated 7.6 million uncashed cheques with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), dating back to 1998.

In order to reunite taxpayers with their long lost funds, we piloted a new uncashed cheque feature in My Account in early February. It lets taxpayers know if they have an uncashed cheque waiting for them, and lets them request it be reissued.

The money comes from the millions of payments we issue each year in the form of refunds, benefits, and credits. Over time, some payments remain uncashed for reasons such as a taxpayer losing their cheque or if they move before it gets to them. 

We encourage Canadians to verify whether they have any uncashed cheques. To prevent future cheques from going uncashed, sign-up for direct deposit and always ensure you update your address if you move. Being signed up for direct deposit ensures any future payments go quickly and directly into your bank account.

The uncashed cheques service in My Account is one of many new services the CRA is making available to Canadians for the 2020 tax-filing season

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