Supports for People

This list was last updated: November 23, 2020

If you need assistance you can also call our constituency office at 416-733-7878 (9:30 am to 5:00 pm) and we'll do our best to connect you with the resources and help you need.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 please visit:

Other Government Supports

Support for Businesses


Support for People

Federal Government

Employment Insurance (EI) Program

Temporary changes have been made to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to better support Canadians looking for work.

As of September 27, you may be eligible for EI if you:

  1. Were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
  2. Received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  3. Stopped working through no fault of your own
  4. Have not quit your job voluntarily
  5. Are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
  6. Are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)

If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.

Please click here to apply:

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

To check eligibility, please click here:

Please click here to apply:

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:

  1. Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
  2. Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
  3. Have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

Please click here to apply:

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The CRCB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:

  1. Unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19.
  2. Because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.

Please click here to apply:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

CERB has now ended.

However, the CRA is continuing to accept and process applications until December 2, 2020. You can apply for period 7 through the CRA’s My Account or automated toll-free phone line at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

The program provided a taxable benefit of $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 28 weeks to eligible workers who stopped working or whose work hours were reduced due to COVID-19.

Mortgage Payment Deferral

Homeowners facing financial hardship may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral of up to six months.

The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

To know if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral or to learn what options are available, contact your lender — your bank or your mortgage professional.

To learn more, please click here:

Changes to the Canada Student Grants and Loans

Changes have been made to the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) to allow more students to qualify for support and be eligible for greater amounts.

The changes include:

  1. Doubling the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
  2. Broadening eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21.
  3. Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.

To learn more, please click here:

One-Time Payment to Persons with Disabilities

Providing a one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment of $600 to help Canadians with disabilities who are recipients of any of the following programs or benefits:

  1. Holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate
  2. Beneficiaries as at July 1, 2020 of:
    - Canada Pension Plan Disability
    - Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension
    - Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada

If you are eligible but never applied for the Disability Tax Credit, or your certificate expired in 2019, you must have done so by December 31, 2020 to determine your eligibility for the spring 2021 one-time payment. 

Seniors who are eligible for the one-time payment for persons with disabilities would receive a total of $600 in special payments. The one-time payment to persons with disabilities would be adjusted to provide a top-up for eligible seniors, including:

  1. $300 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and who received the one-time seniors payment of $300; or
  2. $100 for Canadians who are eligible for the Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowances and who received the one-time seniors payment of $500.

Eligible clients will start receiving payments on October 30, 2020

To learn more, please click here:

Temporarily Extending the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Allowance Payments

Temporarily extending GIS and Allowance payments if seniors’ 2019 income information has not been assessed. This will ensure that the most vulnerable seniors continue to receive their benefits when they need them the most.

To avoid an interruption in benefits, seniors are encouraged to submit their 2019 income information as soon as possible and no later than by October 1, 2020.

Reduced Minimum Withdrawals for Registered Retirement Income Funds

Reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 % for 2020.

To learn more, please click here:

Indigenous Community Support Fund

Providing $685 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities.

To learn more, please click here:

Boosting the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program

Providing $270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program to address increased demand on the program, which will help individuals and families meet their essential living expenses. It will also help hire additional staff to better serve First Nations communities and connect individuals to other government programs.

Please click here to apply:

Additional Health Care Resources for Indigenous Communities

Providing $285.1 million to fund community-led responses to the pandemic and provide targeted increases in primary health care resources for First Nations communities.

Expanding and Improving Access to Mental Wellness Services

Providing $82.5 million in mental health and wellness supports to help Indigenous communities adapt and expand mental wellness services, improving access and addressing growing demand, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making Personal Hygiene Products and Nutritious Food More Affordable

Providing an additional $25 million to Nutrition North Canada to increase subsidies so families can afford much-needed personal hygiene products and nutritious food.

To learn more, please click here:

Providing Support to Indigenous Post-Secondary Students

Providing $75.2 million to offer additional distinctions-based support to First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation post-secondary students.

To learn more, please click here:

Ensuring a Safe Return to School for First Nations

Providing $112 million in funding for First Nations to support community measures to ensure a safe return to school on reserves.

New Shelters to Protect and Support Indigenous Women and Children Fleeing Violence

Providing $44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence.

To learn more, please click here:

Rapid Housing Initiative 

Introducing the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) to help address urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by rapidly creating new affordable housing. This $1 billion initiative will cover the construction of modular housing, as well as the acquisition of land, and the conversion of existing buildings to affordable housing. It is expected to enable the rapid creation of up to 3,000 new affordable housing units across the country and will help stimulate the economy.

Please click here to read more.

Ontario Government

Financial Assistance for Basic Needs

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

Please click here to apply:

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.

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

If you have exceptional COVID-19-related costs, you may speak with your case worker about discretionary benefits.

To find your local Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program office, please click here:

Ontario Community Support Program for Seniors and People with Disabilities

If you are a low-income senior or a person with a disability (PWD) in need, such as those in supportive housing environments or community-based independent living programs, you can get:

  • Paid or subsidized delivery of meals
  • Delivery of medicine and other necessities

Visit the COVID-19 Community Support Finder to get help.

If you can’t request service using the internet or you require service in a language other than English or French, call:

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.

Funding has also been directly provided to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers, District Social Services Administration Boards and Indigenous Program Administrators to support local needs.

To contact the City of Toronto, please click here:

Changes to Renting

Temporary changes have been made to residential rental processes.

To learn more about the temporary changes to residential rental process, and where landlords and tenants can get more help, please click here:

Affordable Electricity Bills

Residential, small business and farm customers can now contact their local distribution company (local utility) to make the choice between time-of-use (TOU) or tiered rate pricing.

In addition, customers receiving the Ontario Electricity Rebate will now receive a 33.2% off the subtotal of their electricity bill to mitigate the Ontario Energy Board’s (OEB) new electricity rates for Regulated Price Plan (RPP) customers effective November 1, 2020.

To read more, please click here: 

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

Through LEAP, low-income customers can get direct support to pay bills and ensure electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected during the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you are falling behind on your bill and may have your service disconnected, you could qualify for:

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

In order to qualify, your household income has to fall below a certain limit. The amount of income it takes to qualify depends on two factors:

  1. How many people live in the house
  2. Your combined household income

To determine your eligibility, please click here:

Interest Rate and Fee Caps on Payday Loans

Effective 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.

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.

To learn more, please click here:

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.

Please click here to learn more:

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

To find more information about settlement agencies, please click here:

Extensions on Driver's Licenses

The validity of government driver, vehicle and carrier products and services that expired on or after March 1, 2020 has been extended. These will continue to remain valid and legal past the expiry until further notice. 

To learn more, please click here:

Extensions on Health Cards

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

Youth Justice Facilities

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

To learn more about Youth Justice facilities, please click here:

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.

To read updated visitor guidelines for residential care settings, please click here:

To learn more about Children's Aid Societies, please click here:

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.

To learn more about the different services for children with special needs, please click here:

Ontario Autism Program Registration

The deadline to submit your Ontario Autism Program registration form and supporting documents to be eligible for interim one-time funding has been extended. 

Please click here to learn more:

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.

To read the updated visitor guidelines for residential care settings, please click here:

To learn more about emergency shelters, please click here:

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.

Please click here to read more:

Reopening Child Care Centres

As of September 1, 2020, child care and early years programs are re-opening with enhanced health and safety measures.

Learn how we are keeping children, parents and staff safe as child care and early years programs reopen with strict health and safety protocols.

Reopening Schools for 2020-2021

Learn about how we are keeping students and staff safe at school and what to expect if there is a COVID-19 case in your child's school.

Students, teachers and school staff need to check for symptoms of illness every day before going to school. Take the COVID-19 school screening.

Get remote educational resources for elementary and secondary students through our learn at home page.

Find resources to help prepare your child for high school classes. We have identified key learning activities and lessons to help students succeed in compulsory and prerequisite courses.

Reopening Private schools

Private schools in regions that are in Stage 3 can reopen, subject to certain health and safety rules. These rules do not apply to First Nation or federally operated schools.

High school graduation requirements

Due to COVID-19, the following graduation requirements were waived for students graduating in the 2019-2020 school year:

Learn about all high school graduation requirements that students must complete.

Mental Health Resources for Children and Youth

There are mental health services for children and youth under 18 across Ontario.

For support at any time of day, children and youth can call 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868 to contact Kids Help Phone. Kids Help Phone can also help you find public resources, services and support for children and youth based on your location.

Reopening Colleges and universities

Students can now attend postsecondary education through virtual learning, in-class instruction or hybrid of in-person and online.

Please contact the school directly for more information.

OSAP Payment and Interest Deferral

Between March 30, 2020 and September 30, 2020, the government offered a temporary deferral of payment and interest for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loans.

As of October 1, 2020, you are required to resume repaying your loan. If you still need help repaying your loans, you can apply to lower your monthly payments through the Repayment Assistance Plan.

If your OSAP debt is in default, you can bring your loans back into good standing through the Ontario Student Loan Rehabilitation Program.

Once your outstanding loans are in good standing, you can apply for further aid from OSAP, including reduced loan payments through the Repayment Assistance Plan.

Mental Health Support for Post-Secondary Students

If you are a post-secondary student, you can use Good2Talk, a 24/7 service that offers confidential support through phone and text. Call 1-866-925-5454 or text GOOD2TALKON to 686868.

Mental Health, Wellness and Addictions Support

If you are currently receiving mental health and addictions services and support, please contact your current service provider. Many providers are modifying their services to offer virtual care, meeting clients by phone or secure video-conferencing.

If you aren’t currently receiving services and would like support for your wellbeing, there are services and information you can access online or by phone.

You can find information about programs that may be right for you based on your mental health and addictions needs, and the type of support that you prefer. You can:

Find Public Mental Health or Addiction Programs

For help connecting with the right public mental health and addictions program or support across Ontario, contact ConnexOntario - available 24/7:

Connect with Peers for Mental Health Support

Big White Wall is an anonymous online community where members can support each other 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can:

  • Complete a self-assessment
  • Read recommended resources
  • Explore a wide range of self-guided courses at your own pace
  • Use creative tools to help express how you’re feeling

This resource is available in English only.

Access Self-led Telephone or Online Therapy for Stress, Anxiety and Depression

BounceBack is a free skill-building program that adults and youth 15+ can access over the phone. With the guidance of a coach, you’ll work through a series of workbooks at your own schedule, to gain practical skills to better manage low mood, anxiety, worry or stress. You’ll learn things like how to improve your mood by changing the way you think or respond to things.

You can find:

  • Workbooks and coaching available for youths and adults (15 and older) in English and French. For those 19 and older, content is also available in Arabic, Farsi, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
  • Videos with helpful tips, available in English, French, Arabic, Farsi, Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi

Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT)

Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) is a practical, short-term program delivered online. It helps people develop skills and strategies to address symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression. It can also help people cope with situations related to COVID-19, such as isolation, pressure caring for family and community members, information overload and stress.

If iCBT is right for you, you will be supported by a therapist online to:

  • Work through modules
  • Complete readings and exercises
  • Learn coping and resilience skills

To learn more and get services, contact either:

Mental Health Support for Indigenous People

Indigenous peoples can contact Hope for Wellness for immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention across Canada. To get help:

Services are available in some Indigenous languages.

Indigenous women can contact Talk 4 Healing for culturally appropriate and confidential support and resources seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Services are available in 14 languages. To get help:

This resource is available in English only.

Mental Health Support for Health Care Workers

If you are a health care worker impacted by stress related to COVID-19, support is available to help you cope. This support includes resources you can access on your own, with a group of peers or with a clinician.

For self-led support, please click here to find resources you can access on your own with tips and ideas to help you maintain your mental wellness and cope with stress.

Participate in an online session with peers to learn about ways to build resilience and maintain wellness through lectures and case-based discussions by joining:

These online sessions are available in English only.

If you are a frontline health care worker and would like confidential support from a clinician, including iCBT supports, you can self-refer online or by phone to any of the access points below.

Volunteer opportunities

Help seniors, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable stay connected and healthy as they self-isolate.

Volunteer organizations can visit SPARK Ontario to post volunteer opportunities available in their communities.

If you are interested in volunteering, we encourage you to check the website for opportunities to make a difference in your community.

City of Toronto

211 Information Line

Residents who need to access, or are seeking information on, social and community supports and services, should call 211 for non-emergency requests and information.

211  is a 24/7 help line and web service that connects residents to social and community services.

211 is working closely with community agencies to ensure they are continually updating their database with the most up-to-date programming and resource information.


Residents in immediate need of food can call 211 for information on food program availability or view a map of local food service providers on the 211 website.

The City has developed a food access strategy that includes the establishment of a committee consisting of large-scale community groups that works to identify ways to prevent food banks from being closed, support those that are running, and troubleshoot issues as they arise. Members of the group include:

For more information, please click here:

Internet Access for Vulnerable People

The City of Toronto has partnered with technology and telecommunications companies to provide free temporary internet access for low-income neighbourhoods, long-term care homes and shelters.

Please click here to learn more about the Free Wi-Fi Pilot Project that is bringing free internet to 25 large residential apartment buildings in low-income neighbourhoods for one year: 

Please click here to learn more about free Wi-Fi access throughout all 10 City-operated long-term care homes:

Rogers is donating free Wi-Fi for three months to four permanent City of Toronto shelter locations as of April 2020. Free Rogers Wi-Fi has also been installed in five temporary shelter locations, to help facilitate physical distancing.

Flexibility for Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing will be flexible and work with market rent and rent-geared-to-income tenants.

The City directed social and affordable housing providers to be flexible, exercise discretion and work with tenants.

While the City has no power to direct landlords, all property owners are strongly urged to find ways to help tenants to stay in their homes and to proactively communicate with tenants about options, if available.

Property Tax Relief

Home owners can apply for property tax relief if they experience illness that results in loss of work, or if they are experiencing extreme poverty.

Employment and Social Services 

Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) continues to provide critical services to vulnerable residents and is maintaining a level of service to ensure the provision of critical financial benefits and supports for low-income clients and vulnerable residents.

In-person services are restricted at this time. Provision of critical services primarily by phone include:

  • New applications for Ontario Works (OW) financial assistance (by phone) at 416-338-8888
  • Ensuring active OW clients continue to receive their monthly payments
  • Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) requests
  • Continuation of benefits such as special diet, employment related expenses, and medical transportation
  • Funeral applications

The Employment and Social Services section on the City’s Affected City Services & Facilities web page regularly provides updates on impacted services and when they may return to normal service.

Seniors Programs

Seniors and caregivers can call 211 Toronto (24/7 accessing 150+ languages) for the most up-to-date information on the status of many community and social services for seniors. 211 Toronto can refer seniors to community-based services where available as well as mental health supports.

Other resources for seniors include:

  • Toronto Seniors Helpline for support, questions and referral: 416-217-2077
  • Local Health Integration Network for health and personal care services, and admission into long-term care homes: 310-2222, no area code
  • Distress Centres of Toronto for crisis assistance : 416-408-HELP(4357)
  • Seniors Safety Line – Elder Abuse Ontario for suspected elder abuse: 1-866-299-1011, available 24/7 and in many languages
  • Toronto Police Service to report fraud: 416-808-2222
  • Crime Stoppers to report fraud anonymously: 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or online at
  • Meals on wheels
  • Many pharmacies/drug stores will deliver prescriptions (and in some cases, over-the-counter medicines and supplies) to your home. To arrange prescription delivery, call your local pharmacy. Refer to the label on your current medication for the pharmacy’s phone number.
  • Toronto Community Housing 

Seniors who already receive these services should call their agency to find out if there are any changes to service.

Call your Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) at 310-2222 (no area code) to apply for government-funded health and personal support services and long-term care homes.

The Seniors Safety Line can also assist in cases of elder abuse, isolation, anxiety or depression: 1-866-299-1011

For City-run services (such as garbage and libraries), call 311 or visit the Changes to City Services web page for updates.

Support for People Experiencing Homelessness

If you are experiencing homelessness, call the City’s Central Intake Line at:

  • 416-338-4766
  • 1-877-338-3398 (toll-free)

You will be asked about your current health and recent travel history and then referred to available shelter, respite site or isolation site. For more information about the locations of shelters or respite sites, visit the Homeless Help web page.

The City has opened some City-operated facilities with showers, washrooms, and drinking water for individuals experiencing homelessness. Find out where they are located and when they are open.