Resources for Non-Status Women During COVID-19

Updated August 6, 2021

COVID-19 Resources for Non-Status Women (See Webinar)


Health (UPDATED with Vaccination Information)

  • Anyone can be tested or treated for COVID-19. You do not need OHIP/Health coverage.
  • UPDATE: Anyone who is 12 and older, has an identity document and proof of residence in Canada, is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Book an appointment to get vaccinated here.
  • Certain clinics in Toronto specialize in providing vaccines to undocumented people.
    • Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Healthcare, 4158 Sheppard Ave East Scarborough 647-267-2176;
    • Regent Park Community Health Centre, 40 Oak Street Click here for registration info South Riverdale Community Health Centre, 955 Queen East, Toronto 416-461-1925;
    • Call the FCJ Refugee Centre at 416-469-9754 234; and
  • Access Alliance at 416-760-8677 for more information. Phone interpreters are available.
  • For individuals who are eligible to be vaccinated and are outside Toronto but may be homeless, non-status or newcomers to Canada:
    • Proof of residence in Canada (e.g., rental agreement, letter from shelter, bill with address, or attend with family member that you are living with);
    • Identity Documents (g., passport, student id, driver’s license); and
    • Language Interpretation: Not all vaccine centres will have interpreters on site so it’s important to call Public Health Ontario to ask about interpreters.
  • To find out more information about COVID-19 vaccines in your area, translated resources or to schedule an appointment, call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line 1-888-999-6488 or check
  • UPDATE: Transportation Difficulties: If you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine but lack access to transportation to visit a vaccination clinic. The Vaccine Equity Transportation Plans is designed to help Toronto seniors, adults with disabilities, and immune-compromised adults get to and from vaccination appointments within Toronto. Find out more information here.
  • If you don’t have access to a family doctor, nurse, or nurse practitioner you can call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.
  • Healthcare providers, medical clinics and hospitals should not share your health or contact information with Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada or the Canada Border Services Agency. Find more details here.
  • Other medical needs? Find more information here.


Workers’ Rights (UPDATED)

  • You cannot be fired for having COVID-19. Your employer cannot require you to get a doctor’s note.
  • UPDATE: Your employer may require you to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • You may be eligible for a religious or medical exemption from vaccination. Seek legal advice.
  • Laid-off/fired/workplace permanently closed: If your employer fires or lays you off, or if the workplace permanently closes, your employer may have to pay you termination pay, which could be a week or more worth of pay. Find more information here.
  • UPDATE: Your employer may put you on a temporary lay off or unpaid leave of absence for up to 6 weeks after the end of the COVID-19 emergency. This change will last until July 3, 2021. Find more information here.
  • Decreased hours: If your employer has decreased your hours, you should ask your employer to apply to the Workshare Program. UPDATE: Workshare program has been extended to September 26, 2021 Find more information here.
  • No child-care: You have a right to take time off to take care of your children. Talk with your employer. Find more information here.
  • Unsafe work: If you are concerned about how your employer is handling your safety during COVID-19, you can make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour. Find more information here.
  • Medical conditions: If you have a medical condition that makes you at a higher risk of getting COVID-19, your employer has to accommodate your needs. Find more information here.
  • Caring for a family member: If you need to take time off to care for a family member who is sick or because you need to self-isolate because a family member is at high risk of getting sick, your employer has to try to accommodate you. Find more information here.
  • UPDATE: If you cannot work because you are taking care of a child that has COVID-19 or whose regular caregiver has COVID-19, you may be eligible for Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit or paid/unpaid infectious disease leave.
  • More questions about your rights as a worker during COVID-19? Call the Workers Action Centre at 416-531-0778 (toll free: 1-855-531-0778) Mon-Thur 12pm-5pm


Income Supports (UPDATED)

  • UPDATE: If you are an employee under the Employment Standards Act you are eligible for up to three days of paid infectious disease leave. This program will end in October 2021.
  • UPDATE: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit ended on September 26, 2020. There are three replacement income support programs not based on immigration status; however, you must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) and have earned at least $5,000.00 in 2019 or the last 12 months. If you do not have a SIN, you may be able to get Ontario Works or the Ontario Emergency Assistance. Find more information here
  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB): This is for people who do not qualify for EI because they are self-employed or independent contractors like those who work in the gig-economy (e.g. DoorDash, Uber, or SkiptheDishes).
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: This is for people who don’t qualify for EI who can’t work because they need to self-isolate for COVID-19 related reasons.
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit: This is for people who don’t qualify for EI who can’t work because they need to care for a child or family member for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Ontario Emergency Assistance: Emergency assistance helps people who are in a crisis or emergency. It covers needs such as food, rent, medicine, informal childcare, and other services. Find more information here.
  • Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP):
    • If you need to apply for OW, you do not need a certain kind of immigration status to be able to get OW. However, you may not qualify if you’re in Canada as a tourist or visitor. If you are currently under a removal order, there may be restrictions. It is best to speak with your local community legal clinic to find out if you qualify. Find more information about qualifying here.
    • If you are already on ODSP or OW, OW workers can give extra “discretionary benefits” to people getting assistance. You can access benefits through the OW program through online applications such as MyBenefits, contacting your OW caseworker or online at ca/community. If you are on ODSP, you may also receive these benefits, contact your ODSP caseworker for more information. Find more details here.
  • Child Tax Benefit: If your spouse has status in Canada, your family can receive the Child Tax Benefit. The May 2020 Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment will be increased by up to $300 per child, for one time only. Find more information on CCB here.
  • Find more emergency income supports here.


Housing (UPDATED)

  • UPDATE: The Landlord Tenant Board has resumed all hearings including eviction hearings. Find more information here.
  • UPDATE: Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre: If you cannot safely isolate at home and are located in Toronto, you can apply for the Toronto Voluntary Isolation Centre.
  • UPDATE: 2021 Rent Freeze: Your landlord cannot increase your rent in 2021 according to the Ontario Rent Guideline if you live in a residence under the Residential Tenancies Act, with exceptions. Find out more information here.
  • If you are behind on rent or are unable to pay rent: On July 22, 2020, Bill 184: Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act was passed. This Bill gives landlords the power to create their own rent repayment plans without having to go through the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). This could make it easier for landlords to evict tenants who were unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic as the changes under Bill 184 apply retroactively to March 17, 2020.
    • If your landlord asks you to sign an agreement to repay rent, do not sign and contact your local community legal clinic for legal advice.
    • Find more resources on supporting and organizing with tenants from Keep Your Rent Toronto here.
    • For more information on interacting with your landlord, fine more information from Parkdale Organize here.
  • Unable to pay rent: Your landlord cannot charge you any late fees or penalties. If you live in Toronto Community Housing and cannot pay rent, find more information here.
  • UPDATE: Rent Bank: If you live in the City of Toronto, the City has a Rent bank that provides interest-free loans to individuals paying market rent. Find more information here
  • Housing Stabilization Fund: Provides money for emergency housing needs to people receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works or income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the city of Toronto. Find more information here.


Immigration and Refugee (UPDATED)

  • UPDATE: All Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) offices have resumed operation.
  • As of November 30, 2020, CBSA resumed deportations.
  • UPDATE: IRCC is giving people permanent residency without the final in-person appointment
  • UPDATE: Starting January 25, 2021, the Immigration Division will no longer accept documents delivered in person to the IRB office. Find more information here.
  • UPDATE: Starting January 18, 2021, the Refugee Board and Immigration Appeal Division is scheduling all hearings to be heard remotely. Find more information here.
  • UPDATE: Refugee Protection Division (RPD): The RPD resumed in-person hearings in Ontario for the week of August 3, 2020. The Board will be working at a reduced capacity to respect physical distancing. Find more information here.
  • UPDATE: Deadline to file documents with IRCC: IRCC officers are supposed to extend deadlines for information or documentation for permanent and temporary residence applications for 90 days. Find updates and more information here.
  • Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers: Provides support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to
  • ensure requirements are fully met. UPDATE: Deadline is April 21, 2021 or until after the funding is complete. Find more information here.
  • UPDATE: All individuals entering Canada by land or air-travel must use ARRIVECAN to provide mandatory travel information to CBSA with limited exceptions. Find more information here.
  • Temporary Foreign Workers: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released a new policy that will allow temporary foreign workers who are in Canada to change their employer or listed job within approximately 10 days via IRCC webform. This will allow workers to transition to a new role quickly, without waiting for a new work permit to first be issued. Find more information here.
  • UPDATE: Family Sponsorship: CERB and its three replacement programs are not considered social assistance. If your sponsor is receiving CERB, they are still eligible to sponsor their spouse, parent, grandparent, child or other relative as long as they meet all the other requirements to be a sponsor. Find more information here.
  • Some refugee claimants who work in Canada’s healthcare sector and provide direct
  • care to patients may be eligible for Permanent Residence. Find more information here.
  • IRCC has launched a new pilot program for online Citizenship Tests. Find more information here.
  • Other immigration and refugee questions? Find more information here.


Policing and CBSA (UPDATED)

  • UPDATE: Peace bond applications: Provincial courts have resumed peace bond applications.
  • UPDATE: Ontario has broadened police powers through Anti-human trafficking inspectors. Ontario has inspectors who have wide powers to enter, search and detain individuals for the purpose of anti-human trafficking effort. Learn more here.
  • UPDATE: COVID-19 Police Powers: As of May, 2021, provincial officers or police officers in Ontario have the right to stop and question individuals for COVID-19 related purposes only if they have reasonable and probable grounds that they are breaking the law.

Food Resources

  • For a quick resource of open food banks in Toronto, click here.
  • The Red Cross Hamper Delivery Program: If you reside in Toronto (M postal code) and cannot access grocery stores or community food programs such as food banks due to self-isolation or quarantine (70+, travelled outside of Canada, symptomatic, COVID positive) and you do not have any other options to secure food delivery (friends, family, availability of delivery services). all The Red Cross at 1 833 204 9952.

Other Resources

Please note that the information and resources contained in this document are frequently changing. This resource page was last updated on August 6, 2021. If you have any suggestions of resources or information to be added or corrected.

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