What is the COVID-19 Emergency Benefit? The COVID-19 Emergency Benefit which was introduced as a one-time benefit in April 2020, has been extended and is now available in each month up to and including July 2020. This benefit is available for people receiving assistance from Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) who may have had additional costs related to COVID-19. This benefit will help cover the additional costs of emergency needs such as hygiene and personal protective supplies, cleaning supplies, non-medical transportation, or additional costs for staple foods. Who can apply for the benefit? People receiving OW or ODSP, who have had additional costs related to COVID-19 and are not receiving the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), can apply for this benefit. People requesting the benefit will be asked to confirm the type of additional costs they have had but verification of expenses is not required.
How does someone receiving Ontario Works apply for this benefit? Those who received the COVID-19 Emergency Benefit in March or April will automatically be issued the extended benefit for May, June and July 2020 with no need to re-apply. People receiving Ontario Works may apply by calling or emailing the office serving their postal code, according to the Contact Information chart on the second page. Phone hours are Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. If applying by email: The subject line needs to include “Request for COVID-19 Emergency Benefit”. The body of the email needs to include the nine-digit member identification number of the person applying, found on their monthly OW statement and a telephone number where they can be reached. This is the only information that is required. Their name or any other personal information should not be included. Once an email request has been sent, the person applying will receive an auto-reply to confirm receipt of their email. If a valid member identification number and contact number was provided, a caseworker will call the person applying within 10 business days to confirm their eligibility. The person applying does not need to call to follow up.
How does someone receiving ODSP apply for this benefit? Those receiving ODSP can request this benefit to help with COVID-19 related costs by calling their ODSP office.
How much is the benefit? The benefit is issued at the monthly rate of $100 for a single person and $200 for a family.
How often can someone apply for the benefit? The request for this benefit only needs to be made once. This payment can be issued in the month requested and each subsequent month up to and including July 2020.
Contact Information to Apply for the Extended COVID-19 Emergency Benefit: York Humber Employment & Social Services