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COVID-19

COVID-19 Resources

Introduction

Your AMS is dedicated to being there for all students during this global pandemic. We have compiled an overview of UBC, Provincial, and Federal support you can access, as well as eligibility requirements and the application processes.

For information on COVID-19 cases, updates, or responses, visit the Provincial Health Office.

For information about the federal response and general information regarding COVID-19, visit www.canada.ca/coronavirus.

Please note, this is not an exhaustive list as the AMS External Affairs Team is focused on giving information most relevant to you. Things are changing every few days and we are doing our best to update this page as soon as possible.

FINANCE

  • Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
    • $1,250 is given per month to students from May through August and $1,750 for students with dependents and those with disabilities
    • Eligibility:
      • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and;
      • Be an incoming post-secondary student in September 2019, or a post-secondary student; or have graduated no earlier than December 2019 and;
      • Cannot qualify for CERB and;
      • Must prove that they are seeking work in order to receive financial assistance
    • Apply by: applications open later in May through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • BC Student Loan Freeze
    • Student loan payments will be automatically frozen from March 30th, 2020 to September 1st, 2020
    • Applies to both federal and BC student loans
    • Visit https://studentaidbc.ca/ for more information
  • Canadian Student Loan Program
    • In response to an increased need for the 2020-2021 school year, the maximum amount of Canada Student Grants will be doubled
    • For full-time students, this will increase up to a maximum of $6,000 and the grant for part-time studies to $3,600
    • The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependants will also be doubled
    • Eligibility:
      • Have to be a Canadian and;
      • Full and part-time students or;
      • Those with disabilities or;
      • Those with dependents in the coming academic year
    • Visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/canada-student-loans-grants.html for more information
  • BC Climate Action Tax Credit
    • $218 tax credit for individual adults; $64 tax credit for children paid four times a year in July, October, January, and April
    • Individuals on a low and modest income will also automatically receive a one-time special GST credit payment by early May of up to $400, or up to $600 for couples
    • Eligibility:
      • Be a resident of BC and;
      • 19 years of age or older or;
      • Have a spouse or common-law partner or;
      • Are a parent who resides with your child
    • Apply by: filing taxes before June 1st in order to be eligible
    • Visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/income-taxes/personal/credits/climate-action for more information
  • Employment Insurance
    • Federal benefit given to those who have previously worked a required amount of insurable hours, and are currently unemployed and searching for work
    • The basic rate you are paid is approximately 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, and a maximum amount of $573 per week. You can receive EI from 14 weeks to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on your regional unemployment rate.You should receive your first payment within 28 days of your application being received
    • Eligibility:
      • If you have been out of work for 7 days in the last 52 weeks, and have worked a minimum number of insurable hours in the last 52 weeks, you may be eligible
        • The amount of insurable hours you must have worked varies by your regional unemployment rate, but is between 420 and 700 hours. You can find out more about regional hour requirements here.
      • Must be actively searching for work, and be ready, willing, and capable to work
        • Written record of employers that you have contacted, and requires the completion of bi-weekly reports for you to continue to receive benefits
    • Apply by: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/apply.html
  • For Graduate Students
    • $291.6 million will be made available to support 40,000 student researchers through the federal granting councils
      • Support a one-semester extension for students whose research scholarships or fellowships end between March and August, and who intend to continue their studies
    • 3-month extension in funding for holders of federal research grants to support eligible trainees and staff paid out of these awards (can’t be combined with others)
  • Emergency Funding for Post-Secondary Students
    • For students who are facing financial difficulties and have no other alternative, contact your ESA or contact questions@ask.me.ubc.ca. ESA has the ability to provide urgent funding on a case-by-case basis
    • Enrollment Services Advisors (ESA)
      • You can get into contact with your ESA by following these instructions under Emergency Financial Support at https://students.ubc.ca/covid19
        • Undergraduate students can find contact information on their SSC portal under Personal Contacts
        • Graduate students are able to call (604) 822-9836 or toll free at +1 (877) 272-1422

CLASSES, WORK PROGRAMMES / INTERNSHIPS

  • Canada Student Service Grant
    • National service initiative to recognize students’ contributions to the COVID-19 efforts
    • Provides up to $5,000 to support student’s post-secondary education costs in the fall
    • More details will be made available on the I Want to Help platform over the coming weeks
  • UBC Summer Session
    • UBC will not be placing students on financial hold or applying interest charges for May 2020, but will resume after June 15, 2020 (UBC Student Services)
    • If you are enrolled in this upcoming summer session and are experiencing financial strain due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, reach out to your ESA
      • They will provide more information towards managing your individual situation and assist with exploring options for short-term critical financial assistance
  • Open Education Resources (OER)
    • Supplements course material in place of textbooks
    • Contact your professor or academic advising office. If you are struggling to afford your school material, please get into contact with your ESA
  • Travelling
    • UBC has cancelled all upcoming international programs for students. If you were planning to go abroad this summer or fall term, please get into contact with your connected department (Go Global, Co-Op, WorkLearn, Exchange) for further updates (Safety Abroad).
  • For International Students
    • Removes the restriction of maximum of 20 hours per week work while classes are in session, if you work in essential services
    • Post-graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP)
      • If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the post-graduation work permit program (PGWP) won’t be affected. Normally, as an international student, you must maintain full-time status in each term to be eligible for a PGWP. However, if you cannot meet this requirement due to COVID-19, Canadian Immigration will take this into consideration and this will not affect your PGWP eligibility. When you are ready to apply for your PGWP, email isa@students.ubc.ca for a letter from UBC
      • For more information about your eligibility for PGWP, refer to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)
      • If you need help to find out what to do in your situation, International Student Advising at UBC is available to assist you. You can get in touch with them here, read their FAQ’s or email isa@students.ubc.ca explaining your situation and mentioning your student number.
  • For Indigenous Students
    • For those facing homelessness, food insecurity, or other financial hardship due to COVID-19, you can get in touch with the Indigenous Committee. They assess requests on a case-by-case basis and will try to get this funding to you as soon as possible.
    • You can send your request via email to indigenouscommittee@ams.ubc.ca explaining your situation and an estimated dollar amount you need, along with a copy of your student ID (to prove current student status).

Housing

  • BC Temporary Rental Support (Student Housing does NOT qualify)
    • $300 rental assistance ($500 for households with dependents)
    • Eligibility:
      • Be receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance, CERB, or have experienced and be able to provide evidence of a 25% or more drop in monthly household employment income
    • Apply at: https://www.bchousing.org/BCTRS
  • UBC Housing
    • Contact your Enrollment Services Advisor for assistance. The AMS is in contact with UBC officials regarding the assurance of housing and safety for current and incoming residents on UBC Point Grey Campus. Both UBC and AMS will be updating this page as new information comes to light

MENTAL HEALTH

  • UBC Resources
    • Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC): AMS-run student service that educates, supports, and empowers people of all genders who have experienced sexual violence as well as their friends and family. The SASC provides free and confidential services to UBC students, staff, faculty, and those connected to the UBC-Vancouver campus community.
    • Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO): UBC-run office that provides a safe and confidential place for students, faculty, staff who have experienced sexual violence, regardless of where or when it took place. This includes any attempt or act of a sexual nature without your consent. All gender identities, expressions and sexualities are welcome.
    • Centre of Accessibility: If you are looking for support due to health issues, such as accommodations due to physical or mental health changes, get into contact with the Centre of Accessibility for more support. You can find their contact information at this webpage, or can email to book an appointment directly at info.accessibility@ubc.ca.
    • Academic Advising: If you are struggling with your upcoming summer course schedule, please reach out to your academic advisor and your respective faculty. You can find contact information here.
    • UBC Counselling Services: Counselling Services appointments are all being offered by phone during the COVID-19 outbreak. Students can call Counselling Services, +1 (604) 822-3811, to schedule an appointment by phone. Support groups are also accessible; find out more by visiting: https://students.ubc.ca/health/counselling-services
    • The Wellness Centre: trained student volunteers who can answer your questions, talk with you, and recommend resources for everyday concerns related to health, relationships, and workload. You can find contact information here.
  • EmpowerMe
    • Call 1 (844) 741-6389 (toll free) any time, night or day. Empower Me provides counselling and life coaching for free. They can help with anything you’re concerned about, and will give you the option of getting help online, in person, or by phone. First in-person session is covered by MSP.
  • Therapy Assisted Online Self Help (TAO)
    • Create an account and learn strategies for managing communication and relationships, stress and anxiety, low mood/depression, and substance use. You can access this resource 24/7 from any device and track your progress by completing a wellness assessment.
    • Can access through this link. https://thepath-ca.taoconnect.org/local/login/index.php
  • Mental Health Hotline
    • Provincial Mental Health Hotline can be reached at 310-6789 (no area code needed)
  • Foundry BC
    • Offers resources and services to those under the age of 24
  • Here2Talk
    • Specifically for all post-secondary students currently enrolled within BC, including international students currently abroad.
    • Launched by the BC government, can be downloaded on the App or Google play store
  • Hope for Wellness
    • Immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. The experienced and culturally competent Help Line counsellors can help if you want to talk, are distressed, have strong emotional reactions, or are triggered by painful memories. Multiple language options available. You can find contact information here: https://www.hopeforwellness.ca/
  • Women’s Centered Health Services
    • Vancouver Women’s Health Collective
      • Non profit organization located in Vancouver, BC supporting self-identified women foster health, wellness and equity through low barrier programs and services. Find out more by visiting https://womenshealthcollective.ca/
  • LGBTQ+ Resources
    • QMUNITY: BC’s queer resource centre, a hub for lesbian, gay, trans, bi, and queer community programs, training, and advocacy. Free health related resources available including mental health and substance use. Find more contact information here https://qmunity.ca/
    • Trans Care BC: provides resources offline and online for trans individuals looking for gender affirming care, peer support groups, and more. Find more support by visiting http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/
  • For International Students
    • Search for resources that supply information regarding your local government or immediate community.
    • More information at the UBC Library (https://www.library.ubc.ca/)
    • If you are looking to find more mental health and support services available in your local area and are currently not located in Canada, please get into contact with avpuniversity@ams.ubc.ca for further assistance

FOOD SECURITY

  • Greater Vancouver Food Bank
    • You can find locations, ways to give, and volunteering opportunities for those in emergency food relief in the Vancouver area
    • Find out more by visiting https://foodbank.bc.ca/
  • Affordable Meals
    • Simple meals with Vishwa (Search Simple Meals here: AMS of UBC)
    • Affordable, easy-to-make meal series to come from LFS. Will be shared at later date
  • More recommendations from the Food Security Initiative:

Vancouver Emergency Food Access

Healthy Eating on a Budget