On this page, we have outlined supports available for individuals.
Learn more about supports for families and caregivers
Learn more about supports for business, not for profits or nonprofits
Learn more about supports for seniors
Learn more about supports for mental health
On April 29, 2021, the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Benefit came into effect and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) was amended. Employers are now required to provide eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19. Eligible employers must make their application for reimbursement to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within 120 days of the date the employer paid the employee.
Paid infectious disease emergency leave
On April 29, 2021, the Ontario Government amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to require employers to provide employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19covid 19. This entitlement is in addition to employees’ rights to unpaid infectious disease emergency leave.
Paid infectious disease emergency leave is available for certain reasons related to COVID-19covid 19, including:
- going for a COVID-19covid 19 test
- staying home awaiting the results of a COVID-19covid 19 test
- being sick with COVID-19covid 19
- getting individual medical treatment for mental health reasons related to COVID-19covid 19
- going to get vaccinated
- experiencing a side effect from a COVID-19covid 19 vaccination
- having been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19covid 19 by an employer, medical practitioner or other specified authority
- providing care or support to certain relatives for COVID-19covid 19 related reasons, such as when they are:
- sick with COVID-19covid 19 or have symptoms of COVID-19covid 19
- self-isolating due to COVID-19covid 19 on the advice of a medical practitioner or other specified authority
- providing care or support to their child who is getting vaccinated against COVID-19covid 19 or is experiencing side effects from the vaccine
Employers are generally required to pay employees the wages they would have earned had they not taken the leave, up to $200 a day for up to three days.
You can learn more about paid sick leave in Ontario here
Financial help for basic needs
If you are in a crisis or emergency situation, need help paying for food and housing, and are not already on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you can apply for COVID-19 Emergency Assistance.
Effective 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 2021, customers who pay time-of-use or tiered electricity rates, including households, farms and small businesses, will be charged the off-peak rate of 8.5¢/kWh, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This temporary emergency rate relief will be in effect for 28 days to support households and businesses impacted by COVID-19 public health restrictions. Customers will automatically see this lower rate applied to their bills.
Effective January 10, 2022 - To support Ontarians through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the OEB is once again temporarily increasing the flexibility of LEAP:
- LEAP applicants no longer need to be in threat of disconnection or have been disconnected, but they still need to be in arrears and at or below the income thresholds
- The limitation on receiving LEAP only once per year is waived, but the total amount received by a household may not exceed the maximum grant amount for the year
- In addition, the maximum value of grant amounts this year is increased to $1,000 ($1,200 for customers with electrically-heated homes).
Low-income customers can get up to $500 in emergency assistance for their electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated electrically) and $500 for their natural gas bills.
The assistance is only available if you are behind on your bill – or in arrears – and may face having your service disconnected. You cannot receive more money than you owe on your bill.Therefore, you may not receive the full amount of the grant.
Emergency financial assistance is for emergency situations only and is not meant to provide you with ongoing help to pay your bills.
The Ontario government has announced that electricity prices are to be set at the off-peak price of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, 24 hours per day for 21 days starting January 18, 2022, until the end of day February 7, 2022, for all Regulated Price Plan customers. The off-peak rate will apply automatically to residential, small businesses and farms who pay Time-of-Use or Tiered prices set by the Ontario Energy Board.
As part of our mandate, we set the rates that your utility charges for the electricity you use in your home or small business. These rates appear on the Electricity line of your bill. We also set the Delivery rates that cover the cost to deliver electricity to most residential and small business customers.
The Ontario government is now providing coverage for the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, the latest flash glucose monitoring system to become available, under the province’s publicly-funded drug program. Providing access to this innovative technology for diabetes care will help patients living with diabetes more conveniently and easily monitor their blood glucose levels.
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin right here in Ontario. As we look towards the future, our government is committed to making life easier and more affordable for individuals living with diabetes,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Providing coverage for the FreeStyle Libre 2 system through the Ontario Drug Benefit program will support individuals living with diabetes to better monitor their day-to-day health and improve their quality of life.”
Starting November 30, 2021, Ontarians eligible for the Ontario Drug Benefit program with a valid prescription can receive FreeStyle Libre 2 as a benefit. The FreeStyle Libre 2 system belongs to a group of glucose monitoring systems called flash glucose monitors and is the second flash glucose monitor to be funded under the Ontario Drug Benefit program for Ontario residents who manage their Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes with insulin.
The Ontario government is extending its Worker Income Protection Benefit program, which provides paid sick days, until July 31, 2022 to continue keeping workers safe and ensure they do not lose pay if they need to miss work for reasons related to COVID-19. Employees can continue to access this paid leave to get tested, vaccinated, self-isolate, or care for a family member. Should the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit be extended, workers in Ontario have access to the most generous paid sick days program in Canada.
- Ontario first introduced paid COVID-19 days in April 2021 as part of the COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021.
- With the extension of the program until July 31, 2022, employers will have 120 days after their employees are paid to submit their application to the Worker Income Protection Benefit Program.
- Over 515,000 paid leave days have been taken by employees since the entitlement was introduced.
- Employers and workers can call the program’s dedicated hotline at 1-888-999-2248 or visit Ontario.ca/COVIDworkerbenefit to get more information and updates about Ontario’s paid sick days.
- Extending paid COVID-19 days aligns with the government’s plan, “A Plan to Safely Reopen Ontario and Manage COVID-19 for the Long-Term”, developed in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
- Last year, Ontario made a regulatory amendment to prevent temporary layoffs from becoming permanent to help workers and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.
Get help navigating Ontario’s health care system and connecting with the programs or services you’re looking for Learn more
For more info on what financial, mental health and other supports are available during COVID-19 visit: Ontario COVID-19 Support for People
We made temporary changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program to better support Canadians who need financial assistance. As of September 27, 2020, the minimum benefit rate is $500 per week before taxes in most cases.
The CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who:
- Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
- Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
- have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
The CRCB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers:
- unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19
- because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.
Homeowners facing financial hardship may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral. The deferral is an agreement between you and your lender. Typically, the agreement indicates that you and your lender have agreed to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a certain amount of time. After the agreement ends, your mortgage payments return to normal and the deferred payments — including principal and accumulated interest – are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage. To know if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral or to learn what options are available, contact your lender — your bank or your mortgage professional.
For more info on Federal Supports visit: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan