Coronavirus Relief for Unemployed Workers: How to Find Help
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it was hard to imagine just how big the economic losses would be. As time rolls on, more and more people are feeling the financial pain of this crisis. As of March 24th, nearly 1 million Canadians have filed for unemployment benefits, and this may just be the beginning of huge job losses.
With no definitive end in sight and rising unemployment, many are wondering how they will be able to pay for basic expenses. Thankfully, the government is actively helping with coronavirus relief for unemployed workers—and so are thousands of individuals through online fundraising. In this article, we outline where to find coronavirus relief for unemployed workers.
Coronavirus unemployment benefits through the government
On March 18, Justin Trudeau unveiled an $82-billion financial rescue package to help individuals and businesses affected by the crisis. The aid package will complement provincial efforts to combat coronavirus-related hardships. In addition to what provincial programs payout, unemployed workers are eligible to receive an extra $500 weekly, for up to 16 weeks, from the federal government. While government assistance may not cover the entirety of furloughed workers’ previous wages, the additional funds offer some financial security as expenses pile up.
Who qualifies for coronavirus unemployment?
According to the Government of Canada, anyone who is unemployed due to no fault of their own is eligible for unemployment. In most cases, it means that you are unemployed due to lack of available work. This means that people who lost their jobs due to coronavirus-related hardships will be able to receive unemployment benefits.
You qualify for coronavirus unemployment if you meet any of the following:
- You have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits
- You reside in Canada and are at least 15 years old
- You had an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application
- You expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period
Under the Employment Insurance Act, self-employed Canadians and permanent residents are able to apply for EI.
To receive unemployment benefits, you must apply through the unemployment benefits website.
Specific unemployment benefits
As more jobs are threatened because of the global health crisis, it is important to save money where possible. If you’re currently unemployed, you’re no doubt facing difficult decisions as unexpected expenses arise with no steady income to pay them.
To help, the federal government is offering a way for people to defer mortgage payments or skip them altogether, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. However, this rule does not apply to everyone. Proof of a financial hardship related to the coronavirus and an inability to pay for basic necessities may be requested to qualify for unemployment relief.
Several companies and organizations are taking it upon themselves to help those impacted by the pandemic. We compiled a list of where to find financial help during coronavirus, which details the companies and industries that are offering relief during this time.
Online fundraising for people unemployed due to coronavirus
In times of crisis, communities come together and support one another. Crowdfunding is a valuable way to offer financial assistance to those who need it. It has numerous benefits, including:
- No application process
- No long wait periods before funds are received
When savings are tight and your income is dwindling, crowdfunding can offer immediate relief. Unlike provincial and federal payments, which can take three to four weeks to arrive, crowdfunding platforms will send your donations within days, which gives you the ability to pay existing expenses in right away.
Finding financial support through fundraising for coronavirus
Communities near and far are coming together to support one another and offer financial support to laid-off workers. Although people are currently confined to their homes because of shelter-in-place mandates, they can still begin fundraising for coronavirus. Through a simple online fundraiser, anyone has the power to offer financial support to those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
Examples of coronavirus unemployment relief fundraisers on GoFundMe
Countless people have come to GoFundMe, the #1 leader in free fundraising online, to start fundraisers for unemployment relief. Community members are rallying together to raise funds for unemployed workers.
Here are just some of the many inspirational fundraisers on GoFundMe:
- Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund is providing emergency economic assistance to employees of restaurants, bars and cafes who are facing loss of income.
Beguiling + Little Island + P&P Staff Support Fund is providing assistance to employees of three Toronto comic book stores who are out of work.
- Toronto Restaurant Workers Crisis Relief Fund is supporting the employees of 30 restaurants who are out of work.
Get unemployment relief during the coronavirus outbreak
If eligible, you should apply for unemployment benefits through your state’s website. In the meantime, you can set up an unemployment relief fundraiser on GoFundMe for quick financial help. Know that even in isolation, you are not alone. We make it easy to create a fundraiser within minutes and receive donations—all you need to do is to tell your story.