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COVID-19 Update - Personal Benefits

New legislation enabling the Government of Canada to support Canadian workers through the next phase of the recovery from COVID-19, and to avoid a gap in coverage after they have received their last Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments was passed under the COVID-19 Response Measures Act on October 2, 2020.


The Act creates three new temporary Canada Recovery Benefits to provide income support to Canadian workers while promoting economic recovery with measures that encourage people to return to work.


Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

  • Gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance benefits.

  • If eligible, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for each two-week period.

  • Must be applied for after each two-week period up to a maximum of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

  • Eligibility criteria for CRB includes the following:

    • You were not employed or self-employed for reasons related to COVID-19 or you had a 50% reduction in average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19

    • You did not receive any other benefits or paid leave from your employer for the same period

    • You earned at least $5,000 of employment, net self-employment, or maternity/parental benefits in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 previous months

    • You have not quit your job or reduced your hours voluntarily

    • You are seeking work and have not turned down reasonable work during the two-week period

    • If your net income is more than $38,000 (net of CRB) in the calendar year, you will be required to repay $0.50 of the benefit for every dollar earned above $38,000


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 children under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care because of COVID-19.

  • If eligible, each household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each one-week period for a maximum of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

  • Eligibility criteria for CRCB includes:

    • You did not receive any other benefits or paid leave from your employer for the same period

    • You earned at least $5,000 of employment, net self-employment, or maternity/parental benefits in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 previous months

    • You are the only person in the household applying for CRCB for the week

    • You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are caring for a family member and they are at home for one of the following reasons:

      • Their school, daycare, or care facility is closed due to COVID-19

      • The person under your care is sick or has symptoms, is self-isolating or has an underlying health conditions that puts them at greater risk


Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

  • Gives income support to individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 or have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk.

  • If eligible, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each one-week period for a maximum of two weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

  • Eligibility criteria for CRSB includes the following:

    • You did not receive any other benefits or paid leave from your employer for the same period

    • You earned at least $5,000 of employment, net self-employment, or maternity/parental benefits in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 previous months

    • You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are self-isolating for one the following reasons:

      • You are sick with or may have COVID-19

      • You have been advised to self-isolate

      • You have an underlying health conditions that puts you at greater risk


Transition from CERB to Employment Insurance (EI)


As of September 27, 2020, temporary changes have been made to the EI program to make it easier for individuals who continue to be impacted by COVID-19 to qualify for financial support after the end of CERB

  • If you were receiving CERB though Service Canada you do not need to apply for EI benefits, it is an automatic transition

  • Changes include:

    • Only 120 insured hours are needed to qualify because of a one-time insurable hours credit

    • Minimum benefit rate of $500 per week before taxes

    • If you received CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended

    • A medical certificate is not required


As always, contact your lead partner or manager for more information on these programs. We are in this together, and here to help.

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