Overview

The Alberta government will provide immediate financial relief to Alberta’s families and vulnerable populations.

Over $7.7 billion has been committed so far, including:

  • $500 million for our health system
  • $60 million for community organizations, including emergency and homeless shelters
  • $50 million for emergency isolation support
  • $3.6 billion to date in total loans to consumers and businesses that qualified for deferrals through the ATB Financial customer relief program
  • $45 million to waive interest on student loans

This also includes support for employers and employees.

Emergency isolation support

  • The Government of Alberta's Emergency Isolation Support program is now closed after successfully distributing about $91.7 million to 79,596 eligible Albertans since the launch of the program – close to double the amount originally allocated.
  • This was a temporary program to provide one-time funding until the Government of Canada announced its own support program. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is available starting April 6. Payments will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.

Utility payment deferral

  • Residential customers can defer electricity and natural gas bill payments for the next 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off, regardless of the service provider.
  • This program is available to Albertans who are experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. For example, those who have lost their employment or had to leave work to take care of an ill family member.
  • Call your utility provider directly to arrange for a 90-day deferral on all payments.

Learn more about the 90-day utility payment deferral

Student loans repayment deferral

We are implementing a six-month, interest free moratorium on Alberta student loan payments for all Albertans in the process of repaying these loans.

  • Alberta Student Loan repayments will be paused for 6 months, beginning March 30, 2020.
  • Interest will not accrue during this period. This mirrors the approach of the Canada Student Loans Program.
  • Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
  • Borrowers may continue making payments during this period if they choose and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit.

Banks and credit unions

ATB Financial customers

  • Personal banking customers can apply for a deferral on their ATB loans, lines of credit and mortgages for up to 6 months.

Alberta credit unions

  • Credit union members will have access to a variety of programs and solutions designed to ease difficulties with loan payments and short-term cash flow.
  • Contact your credit union to work out a plan for your personal situation

Education property tax freeze

  • Residential education property tax rates will be frozen at last year’s level – reversing the 3.4% population and inflation increase added in Budget 2020.
  • This will save households $55 million.

Federal government programs

Albertans may also be eligible for financial supports through the federal government:

Employment Insurance sickness benefits

  • Provides up to 15 weeks of income replacement for eligible Albertans who are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine (self-isolation).
  • One-week waiting period is waived for people in self-isolation.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) (launching April 2020)

  • Provides $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to workers without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are unable to work, sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children.

Canada Child Benefit

  • Eligible parents will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment.

GST rebate increase

  • Provides low- and modest-income Albertans with a one-time special payment in May of up to $400 for single people and $600 for couples.

Eased rules for RRIFs

  • The required minimum withdrawal from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) will be reduced by 25% in 2020 in recognition of the impact of volatile market conditions on many seniors’ retirement savings.

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