Supports for Nova Scotians


CUA continues to monitor the programs and resources being made available to Nova Scotians in response to COVID-19. Updates to government programs are continuing to occur and we will ensure to place the most current information available on this page. If you are a self-employed individual, please consider visiting our Resources for Nova Scotia Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations page.

CUA Programs

  • Financial Assistance Program. Since the onset of COVID-19, our team has been working with members on a case-by-case basis to determine the best supports to help them through this period.  The Financial Assistance Program provides options for individuals who have had their income or livelihood affected by this situation, including deferrals for insured mortgages.  If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and you are a member of CUA, please contact us to discuss your options. We are here to help.
  • Benefits for employees of Halifax Chamber of Commerce members (website). CUA is proud to be an Affinity Partner of the Chamber. Employees of Halifax Chamber of Commerce member organizations have access to a variety of banking solutions and preferred rates, including six months of waived account package fees for new business accounts.
  • Support for CUA Credit Card Holders (website). A number of financial relief measures have been introduced to support CUA’s existing and new credit card holders impacted by COVID-19.
  • Support for CUA Insurance Clients (website). A number of financial relief measures have been introduced to support home and auto insurance clients impacted by COVID-19.

Municipal Government Program

Halifax Regional Council approved changes to the tax system (website), including:

  • NSF Fees. Fees typically associated as the result of non-sufficient funds (NSF) have been temporarily suspended.
  • Interest Rates on Arrears. The annual interest rate charged on arrears has been decreased from 15% to 10%.

Provincial Government Programs

In addition to making significant investments to support food banks, seniors and our most vulnerable residents, the Province of Nova Scotia has also announced the following financial supports for Nova Scotians. A description of each is listed below and additional information can be obtained by accessing (website).

  • Worker Emergency Bridge Fund. A one-time payment of $1,000 for Nova Scotians who were laid off or out of work after March 16, 2020 due to COVID-19. Applications are now closed.
  • Increase to Income Assistance. Every individual and family member on income assistance began automatically receiving an additional $50 as of March 20.
  • Suspending Student Loan Payments. Nova Scotia Student Loan payments have been automatically suspended until September 30, 2020. There are no payments required and loans will not accrue interest.
  • Prescription Dispensing Fees (website). For clients of Nova Scotia Pharmacare Programs, the provincial government is waiving additional dispensing fees for refills that are usually filled for longer periods and are now only being filled for 30 days at a time. In addition, the provincial government is waiving the $5.00 prescription co-pay for people in the Income Assistance program and the Low Income Pharmacare for Children program.
  • Extensions to Driver Licence Expirations (website). Driver licences that expire in March, April, May, June, July and August 2020 have a 5-month extension from the original expiry date.  For a list of additional extensions and changes to provincial services, click here.

Federal Government Programs

The Government of Canada has announced a number of programs to support Canadians through this challenging period. A description of each is listed below and additional information can be obtained by accessing (website).

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (website). Eligible Canadians who have lost their income due to COVID-19, or are now earning $1,000 or less per month, will receive a taxable benefit of $2,000 every four weeks for up to 28 weeks. Applications remain available over the phone (1-800-959-2019) or online. As of September 27, individuals who have received all eligible payments from the CERB will be transitioned to the Employment Insurance program.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) Program (website). The Canadian Government is implementing changes to the EI program to better support Canadians looking for work. As of September 27, you may be eligible if you were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks. If you received the CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended. If you become eligible for EI benefits on or after September 27, you will receive a minimum benefit rate of $400 per week or $240 per week for extended parental benefits.  Visit the Government of Canada’s website for more information.
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (website). The Canadian Government recently announced the Canada Recovery Benefit, to be available pending the passage of legislation in the House of Commons and Senate. This benefit is intended for those who don’t qualify for the EI program and have stopped working or are working and have had a reduction in their income for reasons related to COVID-19. The benefit will provide $400 per week for up to 26 weeks. More details, including application information, are expected to be available soon.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (website). The Canadian Government recently announced the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, to be available pending the passage of legislation in the House of Commons and Senate. This benefit is intended to provide $500 per week for up to two weeks for individuals who cannot work because they are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19. You cannot combine the CRSB with paid sick leave from your employer or other income supports. More details, including application information, are expected to be available soon.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (website). The Canadian Government recently announced the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, to be available pending the passage of legislation in the House of Commons and Senate. This benefit is for eligible workers who cannot work because they must provide care to children or family members due to the closure of schools, daycares or care facilities and will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household. More details, including application information, are expected to be available soon.
  • Canada Child Tax Benefit (website). The Government of Canada is providing up to an extra $300 per child for 2019-2020, which will be delivered as part of the regularly scheduled payment in May. Individuals already receiving the Canada Child Tax Benefit do not need to apply.
  • Deferred income tax (website). The CRA is further extending the payment due date for 2019 individual tax returns and 2019 or 2020 corporation, or trust returns, as well as for instalment payments, from September 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
    • Taxpayers who received a Notice of Assessment that says the deadline for payment is April 30, 2020 or September 1, 2020, can disregard it as it is now incorrect.
  • Deferred tax arrears interest (website). The CRA will waive arrears interest on existing tax debts related to individual, corporation, and trust income tax returns from April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020 and from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020, for GST/HST returns.
  • Students and Recent Graduates (website). All student loan borrowers will automatically have their loan repayments and interest suspended until September 30, 2020. There is no application required.
  • Minimum withdrawals for RRIFs (website). For seniors, the Government of Canada has reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020.
  • Delivery of essential items for seniors. The Government of Canada has contributed $9 million to United Way Canada for local organizations to ensure seniors are able to access the delivery of groceries, medications or other essential items. Seniors looking for support are encouraged to contact their local United Way.
If you have questions about the available programs, including how to set up direct deposit in advance of receiving any supports, please reach out to us at 902-492-6500. You can also send us a message using our online submission form and we will respond to you within 24 hours.
 

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