Support for the Most Vulnerable
Emergency Shelters & Support Services
Financial help for basic needs
Current Ontario Works and ODSP recipients
If you have exceptional COVID-19covid 19-related costs, you may speak with your case worker about discretionary benefits.
Shelters and food banks, charities and non-profits
Ontario-funded emergency shelters for women and children fleeing violence are available to offer support during the COVID-19covid 19 outbreak.
We are also giving funding directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers, District Social Services Administration Boards and Indigenous Program Administrators to support local needs.
Changes to renting
We’ve made temporary changes to residential rental processes.
We also passed legislation to freeze rent at 2020 levels. This means that rents will not increase in 2021 for the vast majority of renters.
Help for electricity bills
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-19covid 19 public health restrictions.
Customers will automatically see this lower rate applied to their bills.
Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
Through LEAP, low-income customers can get direct support to pay bills and ensure electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected during the COVID-19covid 19 outbreak.
If you are behind on your bill and may have your service disconnected, you could qualify for:
- $500 for electricity bills ($600 if your home is heated electrically)
- $500 for natural gas bills
COVID-19covid 19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)
We are providing $9 million to help residential customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills as a result of COVID-19covid 19. Starting in January 2021, available credit amounts will increase and more families will be eligible to access funding.
Residential consumers may be eligible for up to $750 in support towards their overdue electricity and natural gas bills.
Contact your electricity and/or natural gas utility to apply.
Interest rate and fee caps on payday loans
Effective August 20, 2020, amendments to the Payday Loans Act, 2008, will help individuals facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19covid 19.
As of August 20, 2020, the interest that lenders can charge on payday loans in default will be limited to a maximum interest rate of 2.5% per month (non-compounded) on the outstanding principal. This will provide relief to borrowers who are unable to repay their loans on time.
These amendments also establish a maximum fee of $25 that may be charged for dishonoured or bounced cheques or pre-authorized debits, effective August 20, 2020. This fee may only be charged once, regardless of the number of times a payment instrument is dishonoured.