Self-employed 10 min

COVID-19: Financial assistance measures for self-employed individuals

Here's an overview of the various financial measures implemented in response to the coronavirus crisis that are available to you if you're self-employed and unable to earn your full income.

By Fonds de solidarité FTQ

Article published on 2020-04-02 | Updated on 2020-10-13

Like society at large, Québec's economy has been turned upside down by the COVID-19 crisis. In these uncertain times, we've put together a clear overview of the various financial relief measures available to you. Both the provincial and federal governments have introduced exceptional initiatives to support Québecers. Here is everything you need to know about financial assistance for self-employed individuals.

Learn about other financial relief measures put in place by the federal and provincial governments to support workers and all other citizens.

The Fonds is there for you

Since our inception, we have stood in solidarity with Québec workers and businesses. In these times of uncertainty, solidarity is more important than ever. Together, we will contribute to our collective well‑being by actively participating in the local economy and supporting the financial health of our businesses.

Our portfolio is diversified, and we are prepared to adapt and focus on the long term. We have the resources to support our partner companies all over Québec by participating in relief measures that aim to limit the economic and financial impacts of COVID‑19. In this regard, we offered in March 2020 to all the companies in our portfolio, which includes the Fonds régionaux (regional funds) and Fonds locaux (local funds), a six‑month deferral of payments related to loans, including principal and interest. This measure is intended to relieve the financial pressures on businesses in the short term to enable them to continue their activities and preserve jobs.

Our model is unique and allows us to ensure that the money invested in the Fonds can help save jobs and businesses in the province.

True to its mission and values, the Fonds is here for Québec.

As of May 31, 2020, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ has more than 700,000 shareholders-savers and invested a total of 10,390 million of dollars in Québec's companies, creating, maintaining or saving 215,104 jobs.

Data as of May 31, 2020.

The end of the CERB and the start of the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

For self-employed individuals who still need financial assistance, the government announced the introduction of the CRB to replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which ended in September 2020. The eligibility period is from September 27, 2020, to September 25, 2021. Applications can be submitted as of October 12, 2020.

Self-employed individuals who need it can apply for the CRB and receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a two-week period. If your situation continues past two weeks, you will need to apply again. You can use it a maximum of 13 times for a total period of 26 weeks. 

If you are available to work but had to stop working, or your work income has decreased because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for this benefit.

If you're a fisher, the government will use your earnings from your 2018, 2019, and 2020 summer or winter seasons to determine your benefit rate and establish your claim for the same season.

Employment Insurance benefits

As a self-employed individual, you may have personally entered into an agreement with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission to qualify for special benefits for self-employed people. If this is the case for you, and you have been registered for at least 12 months, then you can apply for sickness benefits. This measure, however, applies to very few Québecers.

There are more measures than those listed in this article, so it is recommended that you regularly consult the websites of the governments of Québec and Canada to get the latest information. You can also count on your personal finance specialist or accountant to help you adjust during the next few months if your situation has changed.

If you have any questions about the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and its management of the COVID-19 situation, feel free to visit our FAQ section.

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