Accessing Income Support in the wake of COVID-19

The economic disruption and uncertainty resulting from COVID-19 has undermined the income security of many in the province of Ontario.

Federal and provincial governments are offering a number of income security programs that could assist Ontarians in these rapidly changing times. Some of these programs existed before the spread of COVID-19, while others have been modified or introduced as a response to the public health crisis.

The Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) has created a document that lays out a description of each income security program and makes several suggestions for improving each.  The programs covered include:

  • Employment Insurance (EI)
  • NEW: Canada Emergency Response Benefit (Updated on March 26, 2020)
  • Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
  • Emergency Assistance
  • Canada Child Benefit and Ontario Child Benefit

We remain concerned that many low-income individuals, including individuals with pre-existing disabilities and migrant workers, will fall through the cracks because of deficiencies in current program design.

The pandemic highlights an urgent need for further reform. We must ensure that nobody in Ontario is left behind.

The full ISAC document can be found here.

A guide for accessing Federal benefits can be found here.

For updates on the law and legal services related to COVID-19, please see the Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) Steps to Justice Website.

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