COVID-19: support for Nova Scotians and businesses

Support for individuals and families, seniors, businesses and municipalities facing hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support for individuals and families

Renew your driver's licence online (class 5, 6 and 8)

You don’t need to renew your driver’s licence in person. For a class 5 (passenger vehicle), class 6 (motorcycle) or class 8 (farm tractor) driver’s licence, you can renew online if your licence expires on or before 31 December 2020.

Federal support for individuals

The Government of Canada has funding and resources available for individuals and families, including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Income assistance support

There are extended hours for the toll-free line for income assistance supports, including weekends. If you have questions about eligibility for income assistance, call:

Hours of operation Phone number
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Toll-free: 1-877-424-1177
Monday to Friday 4:30 pm to 7 pm
Saturday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Toll-free: 1-833-722-1417

Pharmacare changes

The Government of Nova Scotia is covering additional dispensing fees for Pharmacare (drug coverage) program prescription refills. This covers the extra fees for prescriptions that are usually filled for longer periods and are now only being filled for 30 days at a time. Government is also waiving the $5.00 prescription co-pay for people in the Income Assistance Program and the Low Income Pharmacare for Children Program.

Red Cross Friendly Calls Program

The Friendly Calls Program provides pre-scheduled calls to individuals who are feeling isolated due to the pandemic. Callers are trained in a variety of areas, including psychological first aid. Callers can also help connect you with other support services available in your community.

Anyone 19 or older can register for the program by calling 1-833-729-0144, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Red Cross will arrange to call you at a mutually agreed time, in English or French.

Student loan payments suspended

Nova Scotia Student Loan payments are suspended until 30 September 2020. You don't need to make any payments, and your loans won't accrue interest. The suspension is automatic – you don't need to apply.

Worker Emergency Bridge Fund

Applications for the Worker Emergency Bridge Fund are now closed.

Support for seniors

Federal support for seniors

The Government of Canada has funding and resources available for seniors.


If you need non-emergency, non-medical help, call 211 or visit 211 is a toll-free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (in over 140 languages).

If you’re accepting help from someone you don’t know, remember to protect your own privacy and safety and follow these tips.

Support for businesses

Agriculture Response Program 

The COVID-19 Agriculture Response Program helps Nova Scotia's agriculture industry mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry's competitiveness, productivity and profitability.

Business support website

Business support during COVID-19 provides education, training and guidance for small businesses. Community innovation leads at NSCC help connect businesses with support programs available from post-secondary institutions and other regional organizations.

Federal support for businesses

The Government of Canada has funding and resources available for businesses and industries.

Restaurants (alcohol purchases)

Restaurants can include alcohol purchases with take-out and delivery orders if the alcohol cost is no more than 3 times the value of food ordered.

Small Business Credit and Support Program

Applications for the Small Business Credit and Support Program are now closed. If you applied and have questions, contact the credit union you’re working with.

Small Business Impact Grant

Applications for the Small Business Impact Grant are now closed.

Small Business Loan Guarantee Program

The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is available for qualifying businesses.

Small Business Reopening and Support Grant

Through this $25-million program, eligible small businesses, non-profits, charities and social enterprises that were ordered to close or greatly reduce operations because of the Public Health Order, or that were greatly impacted by social distancing and orders to stay home, may qualify for a reopening and support grant.

Worker Emergency Bridge Fund

Applications for the Worker Emergency Bridge Fund are now closed.

Support for municipalities

Operating loans for municipalities

Loans will be available through the Municipal Finance Corporation (MFC). Municipalities will have 6 months to start repayment and 3 years to fully repay the loan.

To apply for a loan, municipalities will need to determine their revenue shortfall. The municipal council will then need to pass a resolution and submit it to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The department will analyze the request and if approved will forward the approval to the MFC. Upon approval by the MFC's board of directors the Corporation will administer a loan agreement.

Healthcare and continuing care

Government is working with our healthcare and continuing care partners to increase our health system capacity and control the spread of COVID-19. Read about how we’re responding to COVID-19.

How your organization can help

We welcome help from businesses and organizations who can supply emergency products and solutions to support our response to COVID-19. Find out what we’re looking for.