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COVID-19: A roundup of economic relief measures for Newfoundland and Labrador

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has announced a number of emergency measures to support residents affected by the pandemic, as have some municipalities. Below is a roundup. We will update this as things change or new measures are added.

Please see the federal COVID-19 support program measures here.

Updated: June 11, 2020

Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association COVID-19 information page

What is it?

Compensation for virtual care (fee-for-service only)

What is it?

  • Compensation for fee-for-service virtual care services via telephone and video-conference during the pandemic period.
    • Both physician and patient must be in the province.
    • Fee is $42 per visit, no add-ons or premiums.
    • The Cisco Jabber application (available through NLCHI) is recommended, but other video-conferencing platforms are acceptable.
    • Fee is not payable for prescription renewals, notification of normal test results, or notification of office, referral or other appointments or other administrative tasks.
    • See daily limits and record requirements.

Who is eligible?

  • Physicians with fee-for-service billing. Physicians compensated by salary, independent contracts, APPs or sessional arrangements are not eligible.
  • This service cannot be delegated by the physician. It must be direct physician to patient contact in real time.

When is it in effect?

  • Retroactive to March 18, 2020 (as long as billing requirements are met) until further notice.

Job-protected leave

What is it?

  • Employees can take emergency job-protected leave without pay if they are unable to work due COVID-19 measures, thanks to changes to the Labour Standards Act.

Who is eligible?

  • Employees who must self-isolate, take care of someone with COVID-19, or take care of someone due to COVID-19 measures such as school and day care closures. See full criteria.

When it is in effect?

  • March 14, 2020

Compensation policy for "additional services"

 

What is it?

  • Supplementary pay for fee-for-service physicians whose income is affected by the pandemic and who commit to be available for certain additional services.
  • Depending on the region and site, these additional services can include assessment centres, coverage in ER, support to another clinical area, extended clinic hours, regional community call services, assessment clinics, support for quarantine units, etc.

Who is eligible?

  • Physicians adversely affected by the pandemic who continue to carry out their normal services (virtually or in-person) and commit to be available to provide additional services during the pandemic.
  • Eligible physicians whose billings are below 80% of their average for the previous 26 pay periods will receive a top-up to the 80% level. See full criteria.

When is it in effect?

  • The pay supplement is retroactive to March 18, 2020.

How to apply

  • An application/agreement is being developed and will be circulated to physicians. 

Eviction protection for rental properties

What is it?

  • Ensures that tenants cannot be evicted if they are unable to pay their rent. Eviction notice periods will be extended by a minimum of 30 days. See full details.

Who’s eligible?

  • Tenants who have:
    • received a termination notice for non-payment of rent after March 26, 2020; and
    • experienced loss of income due to loss of employment or reduction in work hours because of the COVID-19 crisis. See full details.

How to apply

WorkplaceNL premiums relief

What is it?

  • WorkplaceNL is temporarily deferring the collection of premiums paid by employers, and waiving interest charges and penalties. The deferral will be applied to all existing payment plans and post-dated cheques. Note: This is a temporary postponement of payment; employers will still owe the premiums.

When is it in effect?

  • Until June 30, 2020

How to apply

  • The deferral is automatic, and employers do not need to contact WorkplaceNL.

Pause on student loan repayments

What is it?

  • A six-month moratorium on Newfoundland and Labrador student loan repayments. No interest will accrue as the provincial government does not charge interest on its student loans.

When is it in effect?

  • March 30 to September 30, 2020.

How to apply

  • The pause is automatic, so there is no need to apply. Borrowers can continue making payments during this period if they choose.

Property tax relief

 

What is it?

Water bill relief

 

What is it?

  • Interest on water meter taxes in St. John's  and water bills in Mount Pearl will be waived until September 30.

Hydro bill relief:

Newfoundland Labrador Hydro

What is it?

  • Newfoundland Labrador Hydro will not cut off service for non-payment of bills.

How to apply

  • Customers are encouraged to call 1 888 737-1296 to discuss flexible payment options.

Hydro bill relief:

Newfoundland Power

 

 What is it?

  • Newfoundland Power will not cut off service for non-payment of bills during the pandemic period.

How to apply

  • Customers are encouraged to call 1 800 663-2802 to discuss flexible payment options during the pandemic period.

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If you have any questions about these measures, please contact your MD Advisor*. 

* MD Advisor refers to an MD Management Limited Financial Consultant or Investment Advisor (in Quebec), or an MD Private Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager.

Banking and credit products and services are offered by The Bank of Nova Scotia “Scotiabank.” Credit and lending products are subject to credit approval by Scotiabank.