Residents of the Greater Toronto Area have had their lives turned upside-down by the pandemic of COVID-19. Here at David Sklar & Associates, we understand that many residents have been thrown into financial instability because of this health crisis and are concerned about what to do next. If you need financial help, we are still here for you.
We offer over-the-phone consultations, video consultations, and electronic document signing so that you can access our credit counselling and other debt-relief services from the safety of your home. We want to encourage our clients to prioritize their health as best as they can during these uncertain times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reached the Greater Toronto Area. Business owners are shuttering their doors. Schools, daycares, and libraries are closing indefinitely. Preventative measures are being enforced every day to flatten the curve of infection.
While these precautions are essential for health and safety, they have sent shockwaves of concern across the GTA, and some residents are worried about how they’re going to pay the bills. Find out why there’s a sudden surge in financial instability and what David Sklar & Associates can do to help.
Current Common Concerns
There are several things contributing to people’s panic over their finances at the moment. You might be dealing with one of the following four problems or a combination of them.
Inability to Practice Social Distancing
Waiters, retail managers, and ride-share drivers can’t practice social distancing by doing their tasks at home. Jobs like these require public interaction in order to succeed. As a worker, you may feel forced to sacrifice your paycheque or risk your health to stay afloat.
Even if employees feel the pressure to clock-in, customers might not walk through the door. With no profits, employers are closing shop. You are one of the countless employees that have been laid off during the pandemic.
The Kids Are at Home
Parents are also dealing with the additional stress of losing childcare services like school and daycare. Taking care of your children at home might interfere with your ability to work and generate income.
Research shows that approximately 53% of Canadians are living from paycheque to paycheque and 49% have no emergency savings to dip into. If you’re one of these Canadians, you’re going to struggle to make ends meet when your main source of income is compromised or taken away completely.
Government Responses to Financial Anxieties
The federal and provincial governments are responding to this problem as quickly as they can to ease financial worries. The federal government has waived the waiting period for Employment Insurance. They have also extended the income tax deadline from April 30th to June 1st, 2020. They announced that they would freeze student loan payments. Ontario’s government has changed policies on paid sick leave and suspended eviction notices so that residents don’t get kicked out in the midst of a crisis.
Watch for more responses about financial relief from the government. Other countries around the world have responded to the economic backlash with rent freezes and bill suspensions. In the upcoming weeks of handling the crisis, Canada may follow suit.
What Can You Do for the Time Being?
The first thing that you should do is to focus on essentials like groceries. The other demands in your life can wait.
You may need to stretch your money for the upcoming weeks, so if you have any bills that are due, pay the minimum. If you’ve experienced a job or income loss, call up the creditor to see whether you can get an extension.
See if you qualify for any government assistance, like EI (Employment Insurance). If you do, sign up as soon as possible to access that relief.
Talk to one of our licensed insolvency trustees. We can offer financial guidance to help you through these stressful times. We have service options including bankruptcy and consumer proposal services that can still be done without breaching social distancing rules.
We can do over-the-phone and video consultations so that you don’t have to visit the firm. We have e-signing so that you can send and sign documents electronically from your computer. You may not have to leave the comfort of your own home. We can do all of these tasks without putting your health and safety at risk.
The weeks ahead will be a challenge, but there are many services with your financial stability in mind. This situation is temporary.