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Financial & Money

Disclaimer: The information on this page is unofficial and subject to change. Please review the original source of the information, hyperlinked in each resource listed below.

Taking Care of Your Money

If you’re worried about how to make ends meet and manage your money during these uncertain times, we want you to know there is support for individuals and families regarding repayment of student loans, tax credits, emergency government benefits, and filing your income taxes.


Resources to support your financial wellness

The information below will help you know your options for accessing funding support, saving money, rent or mortgage options, and what to do if your facing unemployment due to COVID-19:

Brescia Support

Brescia Emergency Fund
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The Brescia Emergency Fund provides immediate short-term relief to Brescia students who are experiencing immediate emergency financial need resulting from COVID-19.
Brescia University College Students' Council (BUCSC) Student Opportunity Grant
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The BUCSC Student Opportunity Grant provides financial assistance to Brescia students for specific initiatives not covered by other scholarships or awards. Be sure to read the Grant Fund Policy for a list of the specific initiatives supported by this grant. 

The completed application can be submitted to brfinaid@uwo.ca for review by the Financial Aid Office.

BOLD Works: Brescia's Work Study Program
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Brescia's work study program provides paid, part-time, remote work to eligible student employees. This valuable hands-on, practical work experience helps you develop professional skills in a safe and supportive work setting, while contributing to Brescia's goals & priorities.
 Summer Bursary Assistance (Western)
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Bursary assistance is available during the summer term for registered summer students. As all summer tuition is paid to Western, Brescia students can apply for bursary assistance through Western during the summer term. Bursaries are non-repayable grants that are awarded on the basis of financial need. You are eligible to apply if you are:

  • Registered in a minimum half credit (0.5, not Distance Studies) at Western during the summer term; and
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Application Details:
Please apply through Student Centre. For more information and updated application deadlines, you can visit Western's Office of the Registrar.

 Budgeting & Managing Your Money
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In uncertain times, it’s important to monitor your spending and to only spend money on the essentials. For more information on best practices related to essential vs. non-essential spending, see some resources below:

Tips: Money Matters During COVID-19

Tips: Budgeting for Life as a Student

Tips: Making a Budget

Worksheet: Setting a Realistic Student Budget from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Template: Mindful Budgeting and Instructions (Flanders, 2020)

Federal Government Support

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
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For those individuals who are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) and are facing unemployment / income loss, you may be eligible for the CERB.

Application Details:
Apply through the Canada Revenue Agency using their 'CRA My Account' secure portal. You can apply for 4 weeks at a time (up to 16 weeks), if your situation continues.

International students who meet the eligibility criteria laid out for either EI or the new CERB program, may qualify to receive these financial supports. International students who are currently in Canada, who have worked the minimum number of hours and who meet the minimum income threshold can apply to these programs.

CERB Help Hotlines: 1-833-966-2099 for automated assistance and answers to common questions; and 1-800- 959-8281 to speak to an agent for individualized support. We recommend that you call during the off-hours or first thing in the morning to get yourself in the queue.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
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 The CESB provides financial support to recent graduates and post-secondary students who are unable to work or find employment due to COVID-19, or are not earning over $1000, and who are not eligible for either the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI).

 

The benefit provides $1,250 every four weeks for eligible students or $2,000 every four weeks for eligible students with disabilities or those with children or other dependents.

Application Details:
Apply though the Canada Revenue Agency using their 'CRA My Account' secure portal.

·       Step 1: Register a profile with the CRA. If you have never filed an income tax return with the CRA, you may not have a profile with them. Call 1-800-959-8281 to activate your SIN with the CRA.

·       Step 2: Register for 'My Account' as this is the fastest and easiest way to apply for the benefit.

·       Step 3: Enroll for Direct Deposit with the CRA through 'My Account' or your financial institution to get your CESB within 3 days of applying. Alternatively, you must ensure your mailing information is up-to-date in 'My Account' to receive a cheque by mail within 10 business days.

Part-time students will be eligible for the CESB, although their eligibility may depend on other factors (e.g. a part-time student in work may already be eligible for the CERB).

Child Care Benefit
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The Canadian Government is providing an increase of up to $300 extra per child for the 2019-20 benefit year. It will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.

Employment Insurance (EI)
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EI provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and are available for and able to work, but cannot find a job. Those who qualify, are eligible to receive 55% of earnings, to a maximum of $573 per week.

EI is open to workers who:

  • Have been paying into EI benefits;
  • Lost their job through no fault of their own (e.g. shortage of work, seasonal or mass layoffs);
  • Are available for and able to work; and
  • Cannot find a job.

Application Details:
Apply online or by phone through Service Canada using their 'My Service Canada Account' secure portal. Applicants must reapply for EI bi-weekly.

 Special Goods & Services Tax Credit
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The Canadian Government is providing this one-time special payment starting April 9, 2020 for low- and modest-income families. The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.

There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

Provincial Government Support

Ontario Emergency Assistance
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This emergency assistance provides financial support for Ontarians in a crisis or emergency situation. This support provides $733 for a month (more if you have children) for those requiring assistance with food or shelter costs. Support can last up to 48 days depending on the situation.

Applicants must be in a crisis or emergency situation. This includes:

  • Being affected by COVID-19;
  • Facing eviction;
  • In or leaving an abusive relationship; or
  • Worried about your safety

Those already getting assistance from Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) do not qualify.

Application Details:
You can apply online through the Ontario Government.

Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Top-Up
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The OW and ODSP top-up provides additional financial assistance to those currently receiving social assistance and are facing additional costs related to COVID-19. The top-up includes up to $100 for single individuals and up to $200 for families.

This funding can be used to meet a broad range of needs, for example: cleaning supplies, transportation, food, or clothing that individuals and families may require due to COVID-19.

You must be a current recipient of OW or ODSP.

Application Details:
Apply by calling your local Ontario Works office Caseworker.

Support for Families Initiative
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The Support for Families Initiative provides funding for families if they have children who are not in school or child care because of COVID-19. The Ontario Government is offering a one-time payment of $200 per child 0 to 12 years of age, and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.

Application Details:
You must complete a simple online application to access this support.

If you are a parent who is already receiving Support for Parents payments through direct deposit, you will be automatically eligible for this financial support and do not need to submit a new application.

Student Loans

Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP)
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The federal government has automatically paused all loan payments for a six-month interest-free moratorium from March 30 to September 30, 2020. You will not be required to make any loan repayments and interest will not accrue.

Additionally, for the 2020-21 academic year, the CSLP is increasing the weekly amount to $350, from $210. As well, the CSLP is removing the expected student and spousal contributions in 2020-21--federally only, not provincially.

Canada Student Grants (CSG)
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The federal government will double the CSG for all eligible full-time students up to $6000, and up to $3600 for part-time students in 2020-21.

The CSG-PD (Permanent Disability) and CSG for students with dependents will also be doubled to $4000, up from $2000.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
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-The 2020-2021 OSAP application for full-time students is now open.

-The Ontario government has automatically paused all loan payments for a six-month interest-free moratorium from March 30 to September 30, 2020. You will not be required to make any loan repayments and interest will not accrue.

-Students enrolling in summer courses may be eligible for OSAP over the summer. Refer to the “April Financial Reminder” email sent by Brescia's Financial Aid Office or send an email to brfinaid@uwo.ca, if you require more information. 

Other Provincial Loans
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If you are a student with provincial loans from Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, or British Columbia, your loans also have a six-month moratorium on interest accrual and payments from March 30 to September 30, 2020.

If you are a student with provincial or territorial loans from Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Manitoba, Yukon, North West Territories, or Nunavut, you will need to check with your loan providers directly and check your government's website for details about current financial aid deferral policies. 

Basic Needs & Necessities

Community Resources
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Food & Meal Programs
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Western USC Food Hamper: Provides students a grocery bag of food for 1-2 days. You can request a general food hamper by filling out an online request form.

Community Meals: Meal Calendar & Food Banks (London)

Rent Concerns
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Most evictions have currently been suspended due to COVID-19. If you're having challenges paying rent, speak to your landlord about deferring your rent or other payment arrangements.

The Ontario Landlord Tenant Board that handles tenants’ rights is 1-888-332-3234.

You may be able to get a low-cost loan to help cover your rent through London's Housing Stability Bank: (519) 964-3663 ext. 300.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
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Low income customers can get direct support to pay bills and ensure electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected.

Other Tips & Information

Income Taxes
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The 2019 income tax filing deadline has been extended to June 1, 2020. You can defer payment of taxes deemed owing as of March 19 until after August 31, 2020. Penalties and interest relief will be considered on a case-by-case basis for income tax balances not covered by the relief provisions described on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

To prepare for filing your taxes as a student, you'll typically need the following documents:

  • T4: for income, issued by your employer
  • T4A: for scholarships and bursaries, issued by your school or student loan provider
  • T2202: for tuition fees, issued by your school
  • Rent receipts: issued by your landlord
  • Medical or dental receipts: issued by your healthcare provider
  • Official receipts for charitable donations: issued by registered charities
  • Itemized and detailed receipts for moving expenses: If moving/moved 40kms or more.
  • Receipts for other school-related expenses, such as textbooks.

Income Tax Clinics

If you need support filing your taxes, connect with the Western USC income tax clinic. Online/drop-off solutions being considered at this time.

Free Tax Clinics: Provides free help with preparing and filing your taxes. Check the directory, under 'Find a tax clinic in your area', for your local tax clinic and call ahead, as services have been adjusted or postponed due to COVID-19.

Tax Preparation Clinics (London): Free services that are run by volunteers who can complete your tax return for you if your income is low and your tax situation is simple. Expect service changes due to COVID-19.

Reduced Banking Hours
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TD Canada Trust, Masonville Mall (1663 Richmond St) 
Monday-Friday 10-4pm
Saturdays 11-4pm

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Masonville
Monday-Friday 10-4pm
Saturdays 10-3pm

CIBC, Masonville 
Monday-Friday 10-4pm
Saturdays 10-4pm