Accessing Benefits & Getting Financial Help
Dr. Jennifer Robson at Carleton wrote: Here’s my first effort at a plain-language guide to benefits for working-age adults impacted by COVID-19. If you are in an NGO, a government, media, a bank, if you run a 2-1-1 service, please feel free to use this/adapt/share.
What to do when relief cheques come, and whether to defer bills.
If you get a government benefit cheque, it is there to feed and shelter you. You should use this to help pay your bills, and keep paying your rent, your mortgage, your other bills, using deferrals only if the money does not stretch to cover everything as well provide your necessities.
If you have adequate income, either from work or from relief, don’t apply to defer your payments. You will be taking on debt for no reason. Remember also income taxes aren’t deducted from it up front from the emergency benefits.
No Evictions for Three Months
The Premier has stated “No tenant can be evicted because their income has been impacted by COVID-19 (effective for next 3 months).” People are not required to be sick with COVID-19. Landlords may not serve a tenant with a Notice to Quit (eviction notice) until 15 days after rent was due, and Landlords should not serve anyone who has had their income impacted by COVID-19
What happens if I can’t pay my rent?
Read about the NS eviction process and what you can do about it here.
All bills were mailed mid-March and electronic billing through EPOST was sent at that time. While the due date for the bill is April 30, 2020 HRM recognize many customers may face economic impacts due to the COVID-19 situation that may cause them to struggle with paying their accounts. The municipality is currently looking at alternative payment options related to property taxes due April 30, 2020. To be clear, no decisions have been made yet, though HRM has in the past and will continue to provide payment plans and relief to those that need it. HRM will make sure anyone who needs an accommodation during this crisis gets the support they need.
For at least the next 90 days, NS Power will not be disconnecting customers for nonpayment. They also committed to being flexible, relaxing payment timelines, waiving penalties and fees on unpaid bills, and providing options for residential and small business customers. NS Power has stop all collection activity and also stopped interest on amounts going forward. Customers’ bills will still show interest on old amounts owing, but there will be no new interest. NSPower will work with customers on their individual circumstances. https://www.nspower.ca/about-us/safety/covid-19-response
Halifax Water Bills
No customers will be disconnected over the next 30 days. Customers should contact 902-420-9287 or customercare@Halifaxwater.ca. The COVID-19 situation evolves daily. Halifax Water is monitoring.
Info about other utilities and banks
Assessment Appeals and PVSC Office
Appeals are continuing. PVSC are working from home and are available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. If you have questions, want to speak with a member of PVSC staff or need to submit paperwork, please contact our Service Centre at 1-800-380-7775.
Canadian Economic Dashboard
Statistics Canada recently released the Canadian Economic Dashboard and COVID-19. In response to an urgent need to provide information on the economic impacts of COVID-19, the new dashboard provides 16 indicators to help monitor the impact of the pandemic on economic activity in Canada. These indicators are taken from a range of monthly data programs—real gross domestic product, consumer prices, employment, merchandise exports and imports, retail sales, hours worked, manufacturing sales, air and railway transportation, and travel. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/71-607-x/71-607-x2020009-eng.htm
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