The aim of this document is to provide a comprehensive overview of resources available from both the provincial government and non-government entities that operate within Alberta, for individuals who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Alberta Government Relief
Ministerial order from the Minister of Labour and Immigration to temporarily change certain employment standards rules to help employers and employees adjust to rapidly-changing workplace conditions due to COVID-19. The changes include:
- Employees (even those who have not been employed for 90-days) are now entitled to a period of job-secured, unpaid leave to care for family members under quarantine or for children who cannot attend school or daycare as a result of COVID-19. This leave is retro-active to March 17, 2020.
In order to relieve the immediate financial burden brought on by COVID-19 and provide stability during the pandemic, the Alberta government is providing the following protection for renters:
- Tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utilities before May 1, 2020;
- Rents will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect;
- Late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments until June 30, 2020;
- Landlords are encouraged to work out a payment plan with tenants who are unable to make their full rent when payment is due. The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service will not hear applications that could lead to eviction due to non-payment unless a reasonable attempt to develop a payment plan has been made.
The Government of Alberta is freezing the residential education property taxes at last year’s level, reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase reflected in the 2020 provincial budget.
The Government of Alberta is implementing a six month, interest free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying Alberta student loans. Student loan repayments will be paused for six months, beginning on March 30, 2020 during which time interest will not accrue.
COVID-19 Local Non-Government Relief
Alberta utility providers are allowing residential customers to defer electricity and natural gas bill payments until June 19, 2020. The program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19, such as those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.
Financial Customer Relief
Each major bank in Canada has offered specific financial relief programs for their clients, including up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products. Albertans are encouraged to visit their website for more details.
ENMAX is offering relief services its customers affected by COVID-19, please visit their website for up-to-date details.
Alberta Health Services has created Text4Hope - a free service providing three months of daily Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-based text messages written by mental health therapists. Text4Hope is an evidence-based tool that helps people identify and adjust the negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviours a pandemic might be expected to provoke.
The United Way is offering:
- 211 Alberta: a 24 hour information and referral line that connects people to social, health and government services.
- Lights on Emergency Fund: a program to provide families and individuals facing financial challenges with emergency funding to avoid utility disconnection (available May 31, 2020).
The Edmonton food banks are rescheduling all food hamper pick-ups that have been affected by food bank location closures.
The Calgary food banks have implemented an appointment only, drive-through model for hamper pick-ups to ensure social distancing practices are followed.
This webpage provides a list of support available in Calgary, ranging from financial support to access to food, to newcomers support.
The City of Medicine Hat is providing a variety of support to its residents during this time, including: childcare resources, access to emergency food and food services, and access to emergency shelter and safe housing.
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