Many Canadians relied on the Canada Emergency Revenue Benefit (CERB) as a source of income when the pandemic ground everything to a halt. The program ended in September, with CERB funds not distributed past October, leaving many feeling confused as to what would come next for them.
In the wake of CERB, the Canadian government reintroduced EI benefits and created three new income support options: the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). There are also quite a few programs for small businesses still in need of assistance!
Supports For Individuals
Following CERB, the government has made temporary changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program for Canadians who still need financial assistance due to the impacts of the pandemic. For claims starting between September 26 and November 20, 2021, the minimum benefit rate for most EI cases is $300 per week before taxes.
After you have received your last CERB payment, most do not need to apply for EI benefits. If you were receiving the CERB when the payments stopped in early October 2020, the CRA automatically would have reviewed your file and record of employment (ROE), then started a claim for EI regular benefits should you qualified. If you did not qualify, you should be notified by mail.
If you’re eligible for EI but received CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you need to apply for EI benefits through Service Canada.
What If I Don’t Qualify For EI?
If you don’t qualify for EI, there are still three programs available:
The Canada Recovery Benefit
You might be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit – a benefit of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks. It’s for workers who have stopped work or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19 but are not eligible for EI and cannot resume or return to work. This benefit is available in periods of two weeks, and you need to reapply every period for up to 13 eligibility periods throughout the 26-week maximum.
For this, the last period for the CRB was October 10 to 23, 2021, and it will be open for application until December 22.
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is for workers who cannot meet at least 50% of their scheduled workload because they are sick, have to self-isolate for COVID-related reasons or have an underlying condition that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19. Available to workers who do not receive paid sick leave from their employer, this benefits program provides $500 per week for up to two weeks.
Applicants accepted to receive the benefit for one week, reapplying if they need it for a second week. The two-week maximum applies from September 27, 2020, through to November 20, 2021 (an extension from earlier this September). The government is proposing to extend this benefit until May 7, 2022, as well as increasing the maximum number of weeks.
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit offers $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for those who can’t work at least 50% of the week due to caregiving duties. Those who qualify can take care of a child under 12 or another dependent family member whose school, daycare, or care facility is closed because of COVID-19. The benefit can also help when a family member is sick, requires quarantine, or is at high risk for serious health problems due to COVID-19.
The benefit is available for one week and must be applied for again each week, for up to 26 weeks (if required continuingly). Each household may apply for up to 42 weeks between September 27, 2020, and November 20, 2021.
Supports For Small Businesses
There are also supports for small businesses – the Job And Growth Fund, the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
Jobs And Growth Fund
The Jobs and Growth Fund is a $700-million program that supports regional job creation and long-term growth for local economies. $70 million dedicated to businesses created after January 2020.
According to the Federal government, this Fund is designed to help businesses and organizations that support the transition to a green economy, foster an inclusive recovery, enhance Canada’s competitiveness through digital adoption to improve productivity and manufacturing processes and strengthen capacity in sectors critical to Canada’s recovery and growth. Talk to us to see if you qualify!
Canada Recovery Hiring Program
The Canada Recovery Hiring Program provides a subsidy on eligible salaries or wages to help hard-hit businesses hire the workers they need to recover and grow as local economies reopen.
This program allows eligible employers to hire new workers, increase workers’ hours, or increase wages at a pace that works for them. As with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, eligible employers can apply for support after every four weeks of the program.
The government is proposing to extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program until May 7, 2022. It’s to help eligible employers with current revenue losses above 10% and increase the subsidy rate to 50%.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides support to eligible employers to cover part of their employees’ wages. Employers can re-hire workers, prevent further job losses, and keep employees on the payroll at their place of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.