My Money, My Rights
Many Canadians are experiencing financial difficulty during the pandemic due to a reduction in employment income. You may be seeking information on financial aid supports, or legal advice on your employment, housing, debt and consumer rights. These valuable resources compiled by staff at Ottawa Public Library can help you find the best support to face these financial and legal challenges.
Personal Finances Resources
The City is offering a Property Tax Hardship Deferral Program for City of Ottawa residential property owners and small business property owners that have been financially affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many Ottawa residents are experiencing financial difficulty during the pandemic. The Essential Health and Social Supports (EHSS) program helps Ottawa residents who cannot afford to pay for items or services needed to maintain their housing and for health items that are not available through other programs. EHSS may help to pay for things like urgent dental care and dentures, eye exams and glasses, fuel/gas/hydro arrears, cremations and burials.
Access to the AffordAbility Fund could make a difference and provide relief from the ongoing stress of juggling household finances. The United Way has partnered with Hydro Ottawa, The Good Companions Seniors’ Centre, and the Nepean, Rideau and Osgoode Community Resource Centre (NROCRC) to provide support and information about energy affordability and other programs that can help you lead a happy, healthy life when facing financial hardship.
More than seven million Canadians have lost their jobs or seen a drop in earned income due to COVID-19 and are urgently seeking financial relief. For many Canadians on low incomes, COVID-19 has made their lives much more challenging. In response to the crisis, Prosper Canada has developed the Financial Relief Navigator (FRN), an online tool that helps vulnerable Canadians access critical emergency benefits and financial relief from governments, financial institutions, telecoms and internet providers. While some other tools focus on only emergency benefits, the FRN acts as a one-stop portal where Canadians can access relief measurers from many entities.
Learn how to get 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.
The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak. This web page connects families, seniors, youth, and Indigenous peoples with the government resources that are available to help them at this time. If you are not sure of your eligibility to receive support, you can complete a short questionnaire that will get you started.
You may be worried about the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on your finances. Whatever the source, financial emergencies can be stressful and cause considerable hardships for you and your family. Be sure to get the help you need with financial decisions during an emergency.
The COVID-19 crisis has left many homeowners in Canada without a job or with reduced hours and wondering how to pay their mortgage. Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral up to 6 months to help ease the financial burden.
Many people are facing legal issues due to COVID-19, and don’t have the financial resources to pay for legal advice. This clinic provides free legal services for persons with low income, living in Ottawa. They are continuing to offer their services during the pandemic through a phone service. Telephone interpretation is available in over 200 languages. They can help you with a number of legal topics, including employment and work, health and disability, housing law, income assistance, and more.
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) is working to give practical answers to the important questions that people are asking about the law relating to the COVID-19 situation. You can get information on: abuse and family violence, criminal law, debt and consumer law, employment and work, family law, health and disability, housing law, immigration, income assistance, provincial offenses, tribunals and courts, and wills and powers of attorney. Make sure to check out their upcoming webinars on COVID-19 and the law.
The Connecting Ottawa project is funded as an Access to Justice initiative of the Law Foundation of Ontario. Their aim is to improve access to justice for linguistic minorities; people who are not proficient in English or French or who face communication challenges as the result of a disability or sensory impairment. Their website offers fact sheets on COVID-19 and various legal issues and provides information on legal, counselling and accessibility services that these groups can refer to.
Legal Aid Ontario provides legal assistance for low-income people. During the COVID-19 crisis, requirements for proof of financial eligibility for some services have been waived. Legal aid services continue to be available via telephone.
Learn how to spot common consumer or financial scams. How to report it and what to do if you’ve been scammed.
As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, watch out for associated scams. Fraudsters want to profit from consumers' fears, uncertainties and misinformation. Fraudsters are exploiting the crisis to facilitate fraud and cyber crime. Protect yourself!
Learn about the temporary changes to residential rental processes, and where landlords and tenants can get more help.