Skip to main content

Legal Rights During COVID-19 and Coronavirus Outbreak

Legal Rights During COVID-19 and Coronavirus Outbreak

Please note: The information provided in this tipsheet is for reference only. It is not intended as a recommendation or endorsement of organizations, news sources, agencies or private businesses, or as a comprehensive resource list. This tipsheet does not contain legal advice.Resources can change quickly.

The information in this tipsheet may not show the most up to date changes based on when you are viewing this information. Please refer to the date this tipsheet was last updated, at the end of the document.

You can also access this tipsheet online at

Pro Bono Ontario Services

The Pro Bono Free Legal Advice hotline is a resource that low and moderate-income families can access to find legal information and advice that relates to housing, employment, consumer issues and going to court (civil matters only no criminal or family law). This hotlinegenerally accepts calls from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and between 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. They offer up to 30 minutes of free legal advice and assistance.

  • Website:
  • Telephone: 1-855-255-7256 
  • Pro Bono Ontario also has a free Education Law Program which provides free legal services for low and moderate-income families whose children face challenges to their rights at school. For more information see Education
  • If you are a Holland Bloorview client or a caregiver of a Holland Bloorview client, you can reach out to Elizabeth Legge, Pro Bono Lawyer. If you wish to book an appointment, please email her at    

COVID-related Legal Information

COVID-19 benefits and services

  • Find financial help during COVID-19  Here, you’ll be asked 6 to 8 questions, one at a time.  Then it will show you a list of benefits that may help in your situation. It will also have links for more information.


Below is a breakdown of the benefits to which you may be legally entitled to depending on your circumstances:

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)

The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) gives temporary income support to employed and self-employed people who cannot work due to a COVID-19 lockdown.

  • The CWLB is only available when a COVID-19 lockdown order is designated for your region.
  • If you are eligible for the CWLB, you can receive $300 ($270 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period. You may apply for any weeks your region is eligible between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022.

Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit 

On April 29, 2021, the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Benefit came into effect and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) was amended.  Employers are now required to provide eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave because of certain reasons related to COVID-19.

Eligible employers must make their application for reimbursement to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within 120 days of the date the employer paid the employee, or by November 28, 2022, whichever is earlier. Paid infectious disease emergency leave was originally set to end September 25, 2021 and was later extended to December 31, 2021. It will now continue until July 31, 2022.

Employment Insurance (EI)

Employment Insurance benefits and leave 

  • Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program.
  • Those eligible for EI special benefits (maternity, parental, family caregiver, compassionate care, sickness), continue to apply to Service Canada in the same manner as previously.
  • The government made changes to the number of insurable hours you need to qualify for EI regular and special benefits and to the rates of EI payments. Only 120 insurable hours are needed in the past 52 weeks to qualify. EI regular benefits are available minimum 26 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks (depending on the region-specific rate of unemployment and insurable hours). The EI rate is set at a minimum of $500 a week (or $300 week for extended parental) up to a maximum of $573/week (or $344/week for extended parental).

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) - $500/week* for up to 26 weeks 

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

  • If you are eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.
  • If your situation continues, you will need to apply again. Each household may apply for up to a total of 44 weeks between September 27, 2020 and May 7, 2022. 

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

  • If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.
  • If your situation continues, you will need to apply again. You may apply for up to a total of 6 weeks between September 27, 2020 and May 7, 2022.

For more information on the CRCB and for information on the CRB (Canada Recovery Benefit) and the CSB (Canada Sickness Benefit), see the government’s website COVID-19 benefits and services

Infectious Disease Emergency Leave

The Ontario Legislature has passed the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 to provide job-protected leave to employees in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives see  Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020

The Ministry of Labour contains further detailed information Infectious disease emergency leave

Children with Disabilities

In response to COVID-19, the Ministry is changing how they process disability-related expenses.   Learn about temporary changes to the Special Services at Home, Enhanced Respite for Medically Fragile and/or Technology Dependent Children and Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities programs due to COVID-19.

  • If you have been cut off ACSD or your ACSD amount has been reduced and your child is a client of Holland Bloorview, please contact Elizabeth Legge, Pro Bono Lawyer 

Education Law

The duty to accommodate special education needs remains despite the challenges posed by COVID. To that end, families may be directed to reference this Letter to the Minister of Education, school leaders on respecting the rights of students with disabilities when making requests for accommodation.

As a result of high teacher staff turnover due to COVID-19, the challenge for parents of children with disabilities is to be able to communicate their child's needs in a way that ensures consistency and is to the point. 

To that end, this is a Quick Reference one-pager Fact Sheet prepared by Monika Ferenczy, BA, BEd., MEd of Horizon Educational Consulting. It is a one page summary of the child’s strengths, needs, personal interests, triggers, verbal cues, winning strategies. This allows temporary or new staff to quickly be apprised of the child’s needs.   It should always be used as a one pager in bullet point format. When using the document, please retain the proprietary footer information at the bottom.

As a reminder, Pro Bono Ontario provides legal support for low and middle-income families for education law-related matters (see above).


Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)

Legal information on your rights and rent repayment (On the Radar, November 2021) This resource discusses your legal rights if  you have fallen behind on your rent and are asked to sign a rent repayment agreement with your landlord.

City of Toronto: Rental Housing & Tenant Information

Facing an Eviction? This handbook, available in multiple languages, is an overview intended to help tenants navigate the general eviction process including what to look out for, templates to use and what your rights are.



Originally created by Hannah Lee, Pro Bono Triage Lawyer and the Family Support Specialists at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital on March 19, 2020. Last updated by a Family Support Specialist January 22, 2022.

This tipsheet belongs to a set of specialized resources for the COVID-19 and Coronavirus outbreak period.  If you are looking for other family resources that have to do with childhood disability, please