COVID-19 Information and Resources
CALC is available to help you by phone or email ONLY, during regular business hours. Please continue to contact us for help with your legal problem. However, until further notice, you cannot visit our office and we cannot see you in person. We may give some clients in-person appointments, if absolutely necessary. Those clients must follow these rules in order to enter.
Here are some key links to resources and more information about COVID-19:
For links to local sources of information or help in our clinic’s service area, see our COVID-19 local resources page.
Steps to Justice – COVID-19 – Provides practical answers to the important questions that people are asking about the law relating to the COVID-19 situation. They are also sharing updates about changes to government programs and court services. (See button on sidebar.)
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) – LAO’s COVID-19 update on their client services (family, criminal and immigration law)
- LAO’s changes to summary advice services due to COVID-19 – LAO waiving financial eligibility requirements for summary legal advice. Legal eligibility requirements remain in place.
Government income replacement and emergency assistance programs
Financial Relief Navigator – tool to help you find the benefits you need
CALC Tip Sheets
- List of Available Benefits During COVID-19 – updated July 13, 2021
- CALC June 2020 newsletter – Pandemic edition!
- CALC Sept 2020 newsletter – focus on a Just Recovery
Income Security Advocacy Centre – Accessing Income Support during COVID-19
Social assistance (Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support)
- Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services – Ontario Works – COVID-19 information for those currently on Ontario Works
- Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services – ODSP – COVID-19 information for those currently on Ontario Disability Support
Provincial assistance programs
- Ontario Community Support Association – helps isolated, low-income seniors and people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions across Ontario get meals, groceries, medicine and other essentials to stay safe at home during COVID-19
- Support for families – One-time payments of $200/child up to age 12 and $250/child up to age of 21 with special needs – submit applications online
- Support for low-income seniors, doubling the GAINS payment
Federal assistance programs
Canada’s COVID-19 List of Income Supports Available – includes links to apply – benefits include the CERB, Canada Child Benefit extra payment, GST extra payment, etc.
- Find Financial Help During COVID-19 – Gov’t of Canada site
- Vaccine Injury Support Program – a claim can now be submitted if an individual experienced a serious and permanent injury or died as a result of receiving the vaccine, call 1-833-489-0839 for more info
- Canada Benefits Finder – not sure what benefits you qualify for? Check here
- New Recovery Benefits and EI – info sheet from West Scarborough Community Legal Services on the new benefits and EI – “What to Expect and How They Will Work” – prepared Nov 11/20 (see also government website)
- How to apply for the CERB – you must re-apply every 4 weeks
- Employment and Social Development Canada – EI and other federal programs
- Support for Students, including Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) – details on CESB
- Canada Student Service Grant – students can receive a grant of between $1000-$5000 for 100-500 approved hours of volunteer activities between June 25 and October 31 (in increments of 100)
- Disability Tax Credit – special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit
Renting: Changes during COVID-19 – temporary changes to residential rental rules and where to get help (for landlords and tenants)
Bill 184: Wrong Bill, Wrong Time – support ACTO’s recommendations for changes to Bill 184, which affects tenants. Send an email to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Information for Landlords:
Employment and work
From the Ministry of Labour:
Ministry of Health – Guidance for health and other work sectors
Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic (WHSLC) – WHSLC tip sheet on “Frequently Asked COVID-19 Workplace Health and Safety Questions”
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) – WSIB COVID-19 update
New Pathway to Permanent Residency – special public policies will grant permanent status to temporary workers and international graduates who are already in Canada and who possess the skills and experience we need to fight the pandemic and accelerate our economic recovery – applications accepted effective May 6, 2021
Consumer and debt issues
Consumer Protection Ontario – report price gouging related to COVID-19
Ontario electricity cost relief – Eff. June 1: Ontario announces new fixed electricity rate, will be applied to all time-of-use customers, 24hrs a day/7 days a week, from June 1 – October 31, 2020. Also, be aware of scams. There will be no cut-offs for non-payment before July 31, 2020.
COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) – one time, on-bill credit to eligible residential electricity and natural gas customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments. Utilities and USMPs (unit sub-meter providers) will begin accepting applications for CEAP on July 13, 2020. See their webpage for details and eligibility criteria.
COVID-19 Fraud – be aware of scams
TransUnion Canada – how to deal with credit issues during COVID-19
Legal Aid Ontario – Family law page – financial eligibility requirements no longer waived but eligibility has been increased for survivors of domestic abuse (Indigenous survivors still waived until September 20, 2021). See their domestic violence page for details. See also their COVID-19 page.
Luke’s Place Virtual Legal Clinic – expanded services during COVID-19 to provide free legal advice on family law issues to women anywhere in Ontario who have been subjected to intimate partner violence
National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) – COVID-19 resources for self-represented litigants. See also the Guide for Self-Represented Family Litigants During COVID-19 from the Ontario Court of Justice.
Law Society of Ontario – COVID-19 response page – includes information about their Emergency Family Law Referral Telephone line (1-800-268-7568) for people who are self-represented and trying to determine whether or not their family court matter meets criteria to be heard by the Court on an “urgent” basis and how to make their request.
People charged with a crime
Superior Court of Justice – some in-court hearings resuming July 6, 2020 – see also COVID-19 update page (The Divisional Court will not resume in-person hearings on July 6, 2020 and will continue to hear matters remotely until further notice.)
Correctional Service Canada – COVID-19 preparedness and plans
Queen’s Prison Law Clinic – provides legal services to clients in Kingston-area prisons, including Warkworth Institution
Parole Board of Canada and COVID-19 – page on operational measures in response to COVID-19
Coalition Calling for Release of COVID-19 Data in Ontario Correctional Facilities – a letter to the Ontario government requesting that they publicly disclose data regarding the prevalence of COVID-19 in provincial correctional facilities and steps being taken to prevent spread of the virus
Other legal issues:
Justice for Children and Youth – legal clinic for low-income children and youth in Toronto and vicinity – COVID-19 update page with infographics and links
Steps to Justice – COVID-19 Immigration and Refugee – see also here if you need medical attention but don’t have status
Disability / Drug Plan:
ARCH Disability Law Centre – COVID-19 and Disability: Recommendations to the Canadian Government from Disability Related Organizations in Canada – March 24, 2020 – see also their main COVID-19 page for other resources
Courts and Tribunals, Government offices:
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) – The CICB continues to hold hearings by teleconference or in writing. Limitation periods are suspended retroactive to March 16, 2020. In-person service counters closed until further notice.
- Re-Opening Courtrooms – Ontario government page
- Ontario Small Claims Court (SCC) – All SCC operations suspended except for urgent matters (which will be heard by telephone or video conference) – Effective May 4/20, counter service is suspended and you can no longer file in person but must file online. Update July 10: SCC continues to be suspended until November 2, 2020 (except urgent motions).
- Ontario Tribunals – COVID-19 update notices for various tribunals
- ServiceOntario Centre Closures – list of offices open or closed
Advice for Non-Profits and Startups:
- Call the Pro Bono Ontario Legal Advice Hotline, toll-free 1-855-255-7256 (all in-person help suspended)
- Free financial advice is available for small businesses and entrepreneurs, including charities and non-profit organizations, affected by COVID-19.
See our local resources page for local help within our service area.
Supporting movements for a “just” recovery:
- Just Recovery Ontario – campaign for an equitable recovery in Ontario post-pandemic – key focus on adequate, accessible income supports
- Basic Income Canada Network – join and support the movement for a Basic Income Guarantee for all
- Principles of a Just Recovery – a movement for a #JustRecoveryforAll that puts people first – endorsed by Citizens for Public Justice
- Recovery for All – join the fight to end homelessness in Canada
- Full immigration status for all – for a Just Recovery from COVID-19
- Responding to Hate Guide and Responding to Hate List of Organizations – guides created by the Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic to explain your rights and provide resources for help when you are the victim of hate crimes or racist incidents
- Take Action for a Green and Just Recovery – from the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), part of the One Earth One Voice movement
- Climate Action Network – Seven principles to align COVID-19 recovery with Canada’s climate commitments
- Promoting a Green Recovery – sharing solutions for a green recovery around six themes: Buildings, Power, Transport, Heavy industry, Forests and Energy
- Make it Better project – developed by the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) in partnership with leading health and environmental organizations working to protect children’s health, which is being affected by the changing climate.
OHIP Coverage – Ontario is providing medically necessary services to everyone in the province, whether they have government health insurance or not (see News Release waiving 3 month waiting period for OHIP)
Ontario Virtual Care Clinic – connect to an on-call doctor today by video or audio during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a family doctor, please seek care from them first. This service does not replace usual care.
World Health Organization – COVID-19 information and updates
Mental health resources
Addictions and Mental Health Services, Hastings Prince Edward – local pandemic hotline is now closed – if you need help call 310-OPEN (6736) OR call 1-888-757-7766 (Enrichment Centre for Mental Health‘s mental health crisis line)
Help Line for Indigenous People – Hope for Wellness – 1-855-242-3310, 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week or use the chatline on their website – counselling available in many languages
BounceBack Ontario – free skill-building program managed by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. Delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, you will get access to tools that will support you on your path to mental wellness. (See their Covid-19 tip sheet.)
Homewood Health – free counselling to anyone in Ontario (during Covid), funded by Health Canada. Call 1-866-585-0445. Right now all sessions are virtual, so you need access to either a phone or computer.
Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health – mental health resources for post-secondary students, includes Covid-19 resources
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Mental health resources
Mental Health Commission – Mental health and wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic
Tribunals Ontario – Press releases outlining eviction order suspensions, postponement of in-person hearings