Worried about paying the bills during COVID-19? 

  • Your job is protected if you have to be away from work because you are sick with COVID-19.
  • Your job is protected if you have to care for children or ill relatives due to COVID-19.
  • Paid sick leave and income support programs are available if your work hours have been cut or you have lost your job.

You can also call 211 for financial, community and/or mental health supports.

Here are some supports which can help:

Service Canada has a dedicated phone line for inquiries regarding COVID-19 related Employment Insurance (EI) claims: 1-833-381-2725.

Important information for workers who have lost their jobs or are unable to work:

  • Workers should continue to apply for EI
  • Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website for additional information
  • Service Canada continues to accept online EI and Pension applications.

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides an overview of the federal government’s support for Canadians. Additional resources can be found at Employment and Social Development Canada.

Your Employment Rights

The Government of Canada has made changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and introduced recovery benefits to support eligible workers, including the Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.

On April 29, 2021, the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit came into effect and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 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.

Banks may offer flexible solutions to personal and small business banking customers to help them manage the challenges of COVID-19. Contact your bank or visit your bank’s website for further information about any available supports.

All Toronto Employment & Social Services offices are providing benefits and services over the phone.

Services provided primarily by phone include:

  • new applications for Ontario Works (OW) financial assistance at 416-338-8888
  • ensuring eligible OW clients continue to receive their monthly payments
  • Housing Stabilization Fund requests
  • continuation of benefits such as special diet, employment related expenses, and medical transportation
  • funeral applications

Clients can call the main line of their regular office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to speak with staff. In-person service is available at three locations for clients with no phone/online access.

Check the Employment & Social Services section on the Changes to City Services page for updates on impacted services and when they may return to normal service.

You can apply for emergency assistance if you need help paying for food and housing and are not already receiving Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

The Toronto Rent Bank provides interest-free loans to Toronto residents who are behind in their rent or need to move to more suitable housing.