Sometimes financial assistance is urgent. Perhaps your employment insurance ran out, and you need financial support right now. Many financial support programs help Canadians across the country in temporary situations month-to-month. Others work over a period of several weeks. Even more help in long-term situations, like for people with disabilities. Short or long-term, getting the help you need is critical!
Here is where to look if you need some financial assistance right now.
Child and Family Programs
Employment Insurance covers situations like:
- Losing your job
- Getting sick or injured
- Becoming a parent or caregiver
- Seasonal workers
Submit an EI request to see what help you are eligible for in your current situation.
If you live with a child under 18 and are primarily responsible for their care, you may be eligible for the Canada Child Benefit (CCB.) Current payments are $569.41 a month for eligible children under 6 and $480.41 for children aged 6 to 17. If you need child care, you may be eligible for a childcare subsidy too.
Consider a mortgage payment deferral if you are having trouble paying your mortgage. You contact your bank and make an agreement. Many mortgages have specific payment deferral options built in. Your lender pauses your mortgage payments for a time, then they return to normal. The payments you didn’t make during the pause get added to the amount owed left on your mortgage. This includes the interest when you weren’t making payments.
The Canadian Federal Government also has a new GST/HST housing rebate. You can use this financial assistance for:
- Making home repairs
- Adding accessibility features
- Improving energy efficiency
The Canadian government provides income support to eligible refugees. This covers them while they can’t (yet) cover their own basic needs. Eligible refugees may receive a household start-up allowance or income support payments. Other programs include:
- Live-in Caregiver Program
- Start-up Visa Program
- Canadian Experience Classes
- Family Sponsorships
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Federal Skilled Workers Program
- The Self-Employed Persons Program
- Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Every province in Canada has its own social assistance benefits. These income programs cover just the very basic human needs. You will receive a base amount plus additions. You’ll get extra for each child, specific disabilities, and other situations. Contact your local social assistance office to see if you qualify. Ask about both short-term and long-term benefits.
When you qualify for primary social assistance benefits, you also receive financial support with:
- Refundable tax credits
- Child benefits
- Additional payments like an annual back-to-school allowance
The amounts differ in each province and territory, so check with your local office to learn more.
Employment and Business Start-up Programs
The new Canada Business App makes it easier to find government programs. Download their App from the Apple Store or Google Play. There you’ll find recommendations specific to your business, that will help you start and grow your business.
Futurpreneur Canada is a non-profit organization that helps Canadians start or buy their own business. They offer resources, mentoring, and loan financing. Join other Canadians between 18 and 39 that they have helped build their own futures.
Education and Training Programs
This Canadian resource offers lots of information about education and training programs. They also offer the financial assistance needed to take the next steps. You can explore careers, education planning, student aid, job training initiatives, apprenticeships, and foreign credential recognition. They even offer a Student Work Placement Program where post-secondary students can get paid work experience.
Check out the Benefits Finder provided by the Government of Canada for more personalized results. This tool helps find programs you’re eligible for after you answer a few simple questions.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
Since house prices have gone up lately, you may have more equity in your home than you think. A home equity line of credit taps into that equity and lets you access those funds. For example, if your house is worth $500,000 and your mortgage is $300,000, you have $200,000 of equity. A lender may give you a line of credit for some of that equity. The interest rates are often higher than a mortgage but much better than a credit card or other unsecured credit.
Cash Value Life Insurance
If you have a permanent life insurance policy, it may have a cash value that works almost like a savings account. After paying the premiums for 10 years or more, you likely have some cash value in the policy. Consider accessing the value by using it as collateral for a loan. Basically, you don’t pay back the loan because you borrow from yourself. Just be aware that if you don’t pay it back it lowers the final payout when you pass away.
Here Are Even More Options to Check For Financial Assistance:
Grant Watch – Financial Assistance Grants
The Legion – Financial Assistance for Veterans
YMCA – Anyone can join
AFC – For Canada’s entertainment industry
Ontario – Emergency Assistance
Financial support for Indigenous peoples – Individuals, organizations, and communities
British Columbia – Hardship Assistance
Canadian Media Guild – Hardship grants
The 211 Line
The 211 line connects you with resources like housing assistance and payment help for utility bills and other basic needs. They’re also a great resource for other free and low-cost services. Consider 211 the 911 for financial emergencies. Dial 211 when you need help or information to deal with life challenges. The telephone helpline and website are a gateway for social, community, non-clinical health, and all kinds of other services.
Rough times can happen and you end up needing urgent financial assistance to take care of some of your basic needs. If so, these resources should give you some options.
If your debts are getting in the way, a credit counsellor can help you get your finances in order. Contact us today to see how getting out of debt can help.