Resources for Non-Status Women During COVID-19

Apr 9, 2021COVID


Anyone, whether they have OHIP or other health insurance, can be tested or treated
for COVID-19. You do not need coverage.
• 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

You cannot be fired for having COVID-19. Your employer cannot require you to get a
doctor’s note.
Laid-off/fired/workplace permanently closes: 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.
Decreased hours: If your employer has decreased your hours, you should ask your
employer to apply to the Workshare Program. 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.
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

  • Eligibility for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit is not based on
    immigration status; however, you must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). If
    you do not have a SIN, you may be able to get Ontario Works or the Ontario
    Emergency Assistance.
    Canada Emergency Response Benefit: You must meet certain factors to qualify. Find
    more information here.
  • 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 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.


  • Landlord threatening eviction: The Ontario government has stopped all evictions until
    the courts and tribunals reopen. Your landlord cannot evict you themselves and cannot
    change your locks. Find more information here.
  • Unable to pay rent: If you cannot pay rent, speak to your landlord and try to agree to a
    payment plan. 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.
  • 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


Immigration and Refugee

  • All Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) offices are closed.
  • Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has cancelled all in-person
    interviews until further notice. Find updates and more information here.
  • IRB hearings: All Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) offices are closed. All in-person
    hearings are postponed until further notice. Find updates and more information here.
  • 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.
  • Removal: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has postponed many removals for
    three weeks. Talk to your lawyer. If your removal is going to happen, your lawyer might
    be able to apply to the Federal Court for a motion to stay your removal. This type of
    motion is an urgent matter that a judge can hear by teleconference.
    Other immigration and refugee questions? Find more information here.


Policing and CBSA

  •  The Province is under a Stay-At-Home order, and during this time, the police are
    enforcing physical distancing and have more powers.
  • The police, certain municipal bylaw officers, campus officers, TTC and other
    transportation constables, community housing constables, public health officers, and
    others can require you to carry and produce identification with your correct name, date
    of birth, and address on request. If you do not provide identification, you can be fined.
    Find more information here.
  • Find information about your rights here.

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) call The Red Cross at 1 833 204 9952.
  • Pop-up Library turned Food Banks: The North York Harvest ones listed (Albion, Don
    Mills, Jane/Sheppard) are appointment only, but the rest (Agincourt, Steeles, Kennedy,
    Cedarbrea, Eatonville, & Taylor (all Daily Bread)) are drop-in from 2-4 pm. No
    documents are needed – you will be asked for your birth date and the number of people
    in your household. A prepacked box will be served outside. Find more information here.


Other Resources


Please note that the information and resources contained in this document are frequently
changing. This resource page was last updated on April 22, 2020. If you have any suggestions of
resources or information to be added or corrected, please contact Callandra Cochrane at
[email protected]

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