Covid-19 Support & Resources

We have compiled a list of resources that may be of use to you or someone you know. Please let us know if there are any additional resources or issues that you would like addressed on this page by contacting us at sforester@nsupe.ca. We will continue to update this list regularly. 

Financial Support

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Application

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

  1. Canada Emergency Response Benefit Application https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html
  2. Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application/questions.html

Worker Emergency Bridge Fund

The Worker Emergency Bridge is a one-time payment of $1,000 for Nova Scotians who are laid off or out of work because of COVID-19, who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance, and earn between $5,000 and $34,000.
https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/worker-emergency-bridge-fund/

Employment Insurance

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19 and believe that you will remain off work for more than 16 weeks, you may want to apply for CERB through Service Canada’s portal, which is normally reserved for Employment Insurance. This is a more complicated application process however, it should allow you to begin receiving EI benefits when your CERB benefits expire. No further application should be necessary.
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html

New Program Gives Health-care Workers Up to $2,000 Bonus

The Nova Scotia Government has announced a “bonus” of up to $2,000 for anyone working in essential health care.

It will be for work during the period March 13, 2020 to July 12, 2020 (4 months). It will apply to any NSUPE Local 2 members who voluntarily went to work at Northwood to help out, even though they were paid for the work.

We will provide an update on this when we know more.
https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20200507004

The Co-operators Reduced Driving Refund

With our Reduced Driving Refund, eligible Auto clients* will receive a minimum 10% refund on the premium they paid from April 1 to May 31. If eligible, refunds will be applied to your policy, starting in July. Policies must be active on May 31 to qualify. You have until register August 31, 2020 for the Reduced Driving Refund.
https://www.cooperatorsgroupinsurance.ca/~/link.aspx?_id=5EBBCEC767A64D4D95CF60532606ED61&_z=z

Heating Assistance Programs

Salvation Army Heat Fund
https://salvationarmy.ca/maritime/home/programs/heat/?fbclid=IwAR0YAVfT0KFYNYi4ScfdX-kvQAJZvC7O02mA8T2BkSed_Z8c4XAZQ7e-BPE

Nova Scotia Power Covid-19 Information and Payment Relief
https://www.nspower.ca/about-us/safety/covid-19-response 

Food Support

Feed Nova Scotia
https://www.feednovascotia.ca/find-food

Caring & Sharing/ Angel Tree Food Bank
http://www.caringandsharingfoodbank.com/index.html 

Colchester Food Bank
http://www.colchesterfoodbank.com/

Chebucto Connections Food Market – Spryfield/Sambro Loop
www.chebuctoconnections.ca/food-market-2

Other Resources & Information

Churches

Some churches may be able to offer various forms of assistance or further information on local programs. Note that you do not necessarily need to be a member of the church to request help or reach out. Please be prepared to leave a voicemail message if you do choose to reach out to your local church.

Suspending student loan payments

Nova Scotia Student Loan payments are suspended until 30 September 2020. You don’t need to make any payments, and your loans won’t accrue interest. The suspension is automatic – you don’t need to apply.

Changes to Pharmacare

Government is covering additional dispensing fees for Pharmacare (drug coverage) program prescription refills. This covers the extra fees for prescriptions that are usually filled for longer periods and are now only being filled for 30 days at a time. Government is also waiving the $5.00 prescription co-pay for people in the Income Assistance program and the Low Income Pharmacare for Children program.

Residential tenancy protection

Tenants are expected to pay their rent if they’re able to. If your income has been affected by COVID-19 and you’re unable to pay your rent, you can’t be evicted until 30 June 2020. If rent payments are affected by COVID-19, tenants and landlords need to discuss the situation together and work towards a solution.

Support for seniors

Community Links and Seniors’ Safety Programs are programs that respond to the needs of vulnerable older adults across the province. Government is investing $230,000 in these programs to expand their capacity to provide more supports and services like:

  • volunteers for delivering groceries
  • technological options for keeping people connected by phone
  • responding to other social issues as they emerge

If you need non-emergency, non-medical help, call 211 or visit ns.211.ca. 211 is a toll free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area. This toll free helpline is available 24/7 in over 140 languages.

If you are accepting help from someone you don’t know, please remember to protect your own privacy and safety and follow these tips.

Mental Health

Community Mental Health and Addictions Services

Community Mental Health and Addictions provides services to individuals 19 years or older* experiencing moderate to severe mental disorders (including addiction) that interfere with their daily functioning. We enable persons to manage their conditions and work towards recovery.
http://www.nshealth.ca/content/community-mental-health-and-addictions-services

Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources for Nova Scotia

Support for mental health and addictions is available for children, youth and adults. You can get help by phone, online or by virtual care. In-person help is available if a clinician determines it’s necessary.
https://novascotia.ca/mental-health/

Canadian Mental Health Association Nova Scotia Division

A list of mental health resources.
https://novascotia.cmha.ca/community-capacity/coping-covid-19/

NSUPE Resources

NSUPE Covid-19 Updates
https://nsupe.ca/update-from-nsupe-on-covid-19

NSUPE Contact Information

We encourage NSUPE members to get in contact with staff and/or their business agent to update their contact information, identify issues, or request information.
https://nsupe.ca/contact/

NSUPE Local Contact Information

We encourage NSUPE members to get in contact with their Local for Local-specific issues, to request information, or to identify issues.
https://nsupe.ca/member-resources

We are asking that union members practice solidarity while they’re at home if they are able. As with all times outside of global pandemics, please practice self-care. One cannot pour from an empty cup.

  1. Remember and acknowledge the historic fight for sick leave. Remember that there are workers non-union AND union that do not have sufficient sick leave protections.
  2. Follow the health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  3. Make noise about what’s important (sign petitions, call your MLAs, etc.).
  4. Fight against discrimination and challenge your personal biases