Sheet Metal Workers' International Association

Local 276

Members Update March 18, 2020

Local 276 is doing its best to confirm and validate the ever-changing stream of information that is affecting our members. Below are changes and updates made this morning on EI, in particularly the announced Emergency Benefits.


Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents


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 is in effect as of March 15, 2020.
  • Waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
  • 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 quality for EI sickness benefits.

-  Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.


Application for the Benefit will be available in April 2020, and require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility.

Canadians will select one of three channels to apply for the Benefit:

-  by accessing it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal;

-  by accessing it from their secure My Service Canada Account; or

-  by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process (not release yet).


Longer-Term Income Support for Workers

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 $5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for EI and who are facingunemployment.
  • Implementing the EI Work Sharing Program, which provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers, by extending the eligibility of such agreements to 76 weeks, easing eligibility requirements, and streamlining the application process. This was announced by the Prime Minister on March 11, 2020.


Addition Aid Package Information


  • Temporarily boosting the Canada Child Benefit.
  • Supplementing the GST credit by $300 and up to $150 per child for 12 million families.

•Increasing the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts up to $300 per child.

•Providing eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months to help prevent lay-offs . The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.

•Providing $305 million for a new distinctions-based Indigenous Community Support Fund.

•Placing a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans for all individuals currently in the process of repaying these loans.

•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.

•Providing the Reaching Home initiative with $157.5 million to continue to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19outbreak.

•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.

•For individuals (other than trusts), the return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020. The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.

•CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.


More information on the federal governments aid package can be found

here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic- response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html#Income_Support_for


We will continue to update you as we have more information.


In these uncertain times we want to remind you to keep yourself and loved ones safe. 


Jason Pedersen

Business Manager SMWIA 276

250-727-3458

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