Just like many Canadians, I’m struggling financially during this Coronavirus outbreak as a blogger, travel writer and freelancer in Canada. The majority of my writing gigs stopped, travel campaigns have been put on pause or completely canceled on top of the announcement that the pride parades I was planning to attend & cover have obviously been canceled.
I went online to look for some help for freelancers in Canada during COVID-19 pandemic and google couldn’t find me clear answers on all the resources available to freelancers or people who have lost 50% or more of revenue.
I earn revenue through ads on my travel website, but since people are not traveling, not reading about travel guides or looking for travel inspiration right now, my traffic has tanked along with my ad revenue.
Freelancers Can Qualify for $2000 CERB
Every freelancer is in a different situation financially and as of April 14, 2020, unless you were earning $0 and/or lost your job because of COVID-19, you couldn’t qualify for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) of $2000.
As of April 15, there is now hope for those who are now making under $1,000 to qualify for the $2000 CERB that the Canadian government is helping with.
The question we still don’t know the answer is if we will get the $2000 no matter how much under $1000 we earn, or if what we earn gets deducted from the $2000. (ex. I earn $700 for a consulting gig, will I be only getting $1,300 now from government or still get $2,000?) Either way, some sort of financial help is coming for freelancers earning less than $1000 a month.
CERB Eligibility Criteria for Freelancers in Canada
Freelancers can apply through the CRA website or Service Canada (not both) for the $2000 CERB soon if they know they will not earn more than $1000 during the specific periods.
This was just announced and isn’t reflected on the CRA’s websites yet, so wait until it’s been updated and mentions you can submit application if you earn under $1000 on top of meet the following criteria:
- You reside in Canada.
- You are 15 years of age or older at the time of application.
- You have not quit your job voluntarily.
- You have earned a minimum of $5,000 income within the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:
- employment income;
- self-employment income; or
- provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave.
More COVID-19 Support for Freelancers in Canada
- Creator Fund – ConvertKit established a $50,000 fund to help creators during COVID-19 which you can apply for.
- Facebook’s Small Business Grants Program – Facebook’s offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.
- Canada Council for the Arts – If you’re a Canadian in the arts, you should try to apply for grants with the Canada Council for the Arts.
- Glad Day Book Store – This historic book store created the Emergency Survival Fund to raising money to support LGBTQ artists, freelancers, drag queens, performers, and tip-based workers who can’t get paid work right now and need financial support.
- I’ll add more Funds and Grants for freelancers as I come across them. Please let me know if I’m missing any you know about.
Additional Government Support for Freelancers at this time:
- GST Credit – Under $600 will be sent to low to modest-income families and under $4000 for single individuals with lower annual income.
- Extra time to file income tax returns – The filing due date for 2019 income tax returns for individuals & self-employed have been deferred until June 1, 2020. Any new income tax balances due, or installments, are also being deferred until September 1, 2020 without incurring interest or penalties.
- Student Loan Payments Suspended – All student loans borrowed from your province will automatically have their loan repayments and interest suspended until September 30, 2020. This doesn’t cover Student Line of Credits from banks, unfortunately.
I will keep this post updated once the CRA’s website has been updated! Please let me know of other financial resources that freelancers can apply for and I’ll include it in this resource for others.
Sending lots of love to you all xoxo