Notice to Members
March 20, 2020, 1:30 p.m.
COVID-19 update: next steps
As recently shared, Council met this morning to discuss the current situation related to COVID-19 and made the following decision:
The ACAC strongly recommends that chiropractors suspend all chiropractic services except those limited to emergent care only. The practice of mobile care (defined as in-person chiropractic care provided in locations other than a fixed, non-mobile clinic space) is completely suspended. The recommendation and suspension are effective starting Monday, March 23, 2020, and will remain in place until further notice.
Emergent care is defined as follows:
1. The patient is in an acute condition where they would be severely physically limited from basic daily activities without chiropractic care
2. The patient is in a sub-acute condition that if left untreated would be vulnerable to an acute flare-up that could leave them severely physically limited from basic daily activities.
3. Patients who are not experiencing an acute or sub-acute condition as described above, such as someone who has had a slight twinge after their run, are not considered emergent care.
Below is a guide for implementation of the recommended suspension of services:
1. Inform your staff and develop an implementation plan and timeline.
- We encourage members take a moment to provide support to staff and each other, as this new recommendation and its implications are likely to cause anxiety and fear.
2. Communicate to your patients: advise patients that you are following the recommendations of your College and your clinic is temporarily closing.
- If you plan to provide emergent care, advise patients how to connect with you.
- If you don’t plan to provide emergent care, make arrangements with other providers if possible and advise patients of these arrangements, including how to access their patient record as needed.
3. File ROE’s for all employees: The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has a step-by-step guide on their website.
4. Advise associates and independent contractors on where to find information on federal programs for the self-employed.
Here is a summary of all of the current programs and benefits:
- Temporary income support: The headline measure in the Emergency Care Benefit of up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This will cover workers quarantined with COVID-19 without EI benefits, those taking care of family with COVID-19 and parents without income in need of childcare.
- Emergency Support Benefit for unemployed workers not eligible for EI. There are few details on this program at this time. As details are published on accessing this benefit, we will update you.
- GST credit: One-time special payment through the GST credit in May 2020, doubling the maximum amount for the 2019-2020 benefit period. The average increase for those eligible is approximately $400 for an individual.
- Canada Child Benefit: A temporary increase for the 2019-2020 benefit period, by $300 per child (distributed in the May payment).
- Student loan relief: Six-month interest free period for student loan repayments.
- RRIF withdrawal rules: The minimum withdrawal amount will be reduced by 25% for 2020.
- Tax payment flexibility: Tax filing deadline for individuals extended to June 1, 2020; all taxpayers with balances owing can defer payment (on amounts owing beginning today) interest and penalty free until after August 31, 2020.
- Business wage subsidy: Subsidy of 10% of payroll value for three months, up to a maximum of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. This will be administered through reduced payroll remittances.
- Business Credit Availability Program and Domestic Stability Buffer: As announced, BDC and EDC will provide $10 Billion of lending support to small and medium-sized businesses. OSFI’s 1.25% capital buffer reduction will free up $300 Billion of lending capacity by Canadian banks.
- Flexibility by financial institutions: Ottawa is recommending (and banks have confirmed) that lenders will be open to support, including up to six-month payment deferral for mortgages and relief on credit products. CMHC will allow lenders to permit payment deferral on insured mortgages, and other measures, such as re-amortization are encouraged.
- Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as:
- Pay disruption due to COVID-19
- Childcare disruption due to school closures
- Those facing illness from COVID-19
For a comprehensive list of benefits please go the Department of Finance Canada’s website. Its content is updated on a regular basis to keep Canadians informed. We realize not all practical details are available at this time. We advise you to regularly check the Department of Finance Canada’s website for details.
5. Contact your commercial insurance provider. You may be entitled to business interruption insurance.
6. Contact the ACAC with questions via email at [email protected]. As volume is quite high, please know response time will be slower than usual.
Finally, we want to reiterate how important it is to care for your mental health and that of your loved ones during this time. Please visit AHS’ online resource, Help in Tough Times, that has information on various mental health supports.
We understand this is a rapidly changing environment for all of us which requires nimbleness and a calm, clear approach. The ACAC remains committed to guiding chiropractors through this time with the most current and relevant information possible.
Dr. Todd Halowski
Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors
11203 - 70 Street NW
Edmonton, AB, T5B 1T1
P 780.420.0932 | F 780.425.6583