Financial supports during COVID-19

City building

Various programs are currently available through City of Peterborough Social Services, community agencies, the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada to support people, businesses and organizations through the COVID-19 emergency.

Businesses can visit the Peterborough and Kawarthas Business Recovery Centre for COVID-19 resources and supports.

Peterborough and the Kawarthas Business Recovery Centre

Social assistance is available to individuals and families who are experiencing financial challenges and homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Social Services office can assist with applications for financial assistance, emergency child care for essential workers, and housing supports. For details about available programs, see the municipal programs section below. 

Municipal programs

The Social Services office is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with limited in-person access at this time. Client appointments will largely be done over the phone. Current clients are encouraged to contact their case worker directly.

To contact the office, call 705-748-8830 or email Social Services

The following supports are available to residents of the city and county of Peterborough.

Financial and employment assistance

Ontario Works Income and Employment

Eligibility: general public with low income and assets. Apply online.

COVID-19 Emergency Assistance

Eligibility: individuals laid off or financially impacted by COVID-19 awaiting federal programs. 

COVID-19 Additional Emergency Benefit

Eligibility: Ontario Works clients and those eligible for emergency assistance.

Also available for Ontario Works and ODSP clients:

  • Regular discretionary benefits
  • Helping Hands
  • Employment-related expenses
Children's Services

Emergency child care for essential workers

Eligibility: must be an essential service worker as identified by the province of Ontario. Currently available for employees of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough Public Health, long-term care facilities, and essential service municipal staff. 

Priority groups now eligible for the Emergency Child Care Plan include employees from the following types of workplaces:

  • Organizations and providers that deliver home care services or personal support services to seniors and persons with disabilities;
  • Retirement homes;
  • Independent health and assisted living facilities; and
  • Not-for-profit organizations that provide critical personal support services in home or residential services for individuals with physical disabilities.
  • Individuals serving vulnerable populations (e.g. people working in Children’s Aid Societies);
  • Staff who work in shelters serving homeless populations;
  • Emergency response and law enforcement sector staff (e.g. First Nations constables, critical staff operating the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre);
  • Power workers;
  • Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing;
  • Non-municipal water and waste water employees; and
  • Federally employed staff including RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency officers and Canada Post employees.

There are 114 spaces available for children from infants to 12 years old. To be eligible, the family must have no other option for child care.

Please complete the online application, which will be followed up by a phone call from Children's Services staff.

Housing resources

Centralized intake is completed through the Social Services office: 705-748-8830.

  • Brock Mission and Overflow Shelter clients are currently housed at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre to allow for physical distancing.
  • Youth Emergency Shelter and Cameron House continue to provide shelter services.

Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) 

Details: monthly rent subsidy and potentially first and last months rent available to applicants experiencing homelessness based on a priority list. 

Housing Stability Fund (delivered by Social Services)

Eligibility: Ontario Works and ODSP clients.

Housing Stability Fund (delivered by the Housing Resource Centre)

Eligibility: low income clients.

Peterborough Housing Corp (705-742-0439) and the Housing Resource Centre (705-743-2272 ext. 207) have rent supplements available for people with low income and people experiencing homelessness. 

Social Services has rent supplements available to people experiencing homelessness.

Provincial programs

The Government of Ontario offers additional supports for ODSP clients as well as an Emergency Assistance program. 

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

Visit the ODSP website for program details.

Eligibility: individuals with disabilities as well as low income and assets.

Contact the Province of Ontario about this program: call 705-567-3391 or 1-800-461-4961.

ODSP Additional Emergency Benefit (COVID-19)
Emergency funds are available for current ODSP clients during the pandemic. Contact the Social Services office for more details. 
Emergency Assistance
Apply for short term financial support if you are in a crisis or an emergency situation and don’t have enough money for things like food and housing. Apply online or contact the office in your region.

Federal programs

Applications for these programs will not be processed until mid-April or based on Income Tax subsidy cycle.

 Employment Insurance (EI)

Details: apply online or mail application through Service Canada. Service Canada centres are currently closed to the public. Contact by phone: 1-800-206-7218.

Eligibility: for individuals who were employed in insurable employment; lost their job through no fault; worked for the number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks; are able to work; and are actively looking for work.  

 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Details: apply online through Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency. Applicants could be eligible for $500 per week for up to 16 weeks. 

Eligibility: for individuals who are wage-earners, contract workers or self-employed people who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) and

  • earned a minimum of $5,000 through employment or self-employment last year
  • lost income due to COVID-19, but are not eligible for EI
  • are sick, quarantined, or caring for someone who is sick, and have child care issues.
  • students who have earned $5,000 in the last year can qualify.
  • When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim. When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.

For full details visit the Questions and Answers about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

To phone for more information on this program, call 1-833-966-2099.

If you have already applied and have questions about your application, call 1-833-699-0299.

 GST payments: increased in May 2020

Details: based on income tax; $400 available for individuals and up to $600 for couples. 

Eligibility: low and modest income earners; seniors; families with children. 

 Canada Child Benefit top-up during COVID-19

Details: based on income tax; $300 top-up for each child to the Canada Child Benefit in May.

Eligibility: families with children who are low and modest income earners. 

 "Reaching Home" Enhanced Programming Fund

Details: to be administered by the United Way to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Will be used for a range of needs, including supplies and accommodations, to reduce overcrowding and support physical distancing in shelters.

Eligibility: determined by the United Way.

 Mortgage and credit support

Details: Canadian banks can help with mortgage deferrals, credit card payment deferrals, and car lease loan deferrals.

Eligibility: Contact your bank to request a deferral for any payments for up to six months.