PERSONAL FINANCIAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO YOU IN THE CKL FROM THE GOVERNMENT DURING THE PANDEMIC - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY.

There are four, primary federal government supports available to individuals in the CKL during the pandemic:

  • Employment Insurance.

  • Canada Recovery Benefit.

  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.

  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

Employment Insurance (EI)

In response to the pandemic, temporary changes have been made to the EI program that are in effect from September 27, 2020 for a 1-year period. One of the most significant changes is a decrease in the number of hours required to qualify for benefits. Only 120 insured hours is required to qualify due to a one-time credit of either 300 insured hours if you are applying for regular benefits or 480 insured hours if you are applying for sickness, maternity, parental or caregiving benefits. Benefits are paid at a rate of at least $500 per week for regular benefits and $300 per week for extended parental benefits. The requirement to submit a medical certificate if you are applying for sickness benefits has been removed. For those applicants who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours is extended.

Canada Recovery Benefit

The CERB has now been replaced with the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). The CRB provides support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and who are not entitled to Employment Insurance Benefits. Eligible individuals will receive $1,000 every two weeks. The benefit is taxable with taxes withheld prior to payment, resulting in a net payment of $900 for each two-week period.

To be eligible for the CRB you must either have lost your employment or self-employment for reasons related to COVID-19 or have had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID19. You cannot receive or apply for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) or the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) or be receiving or applying for short term disability benefits, workers compensation benefit or EI benefits. Other eligibility requirements include:

  • You must not be eligible for EI benefits.

  • You must live and have a home in Canada, but do not have to be a citizen or a permanent resident.

  • You must be present in Canada.

  • You must be at least 15 years old.

  • You must have a valid social insurance number.

  • You must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months before the date you apply for CRB. That income can come from any of the following sources:

    • employment income on a gross basis;

    • net self-employment income, after deduction f expenses; or

    • maternity and parental benefits from EI.

  • You must not have quit your job or reduced your hours voluntarily on or after September 27, 2020 unless it was reasonable to do so.

  • You must be seeking work during the period, either as an employee or in self-employment.

  • You must not have turned down reasonable work during the 2-week period you’re applying for the CRB benefit for.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

This benefit is for employed or self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 or have an underlying health condition that puts them at heightened risk of getting COVID-19. The provided benefit is $500 per week, or $450 per week after taxes. The benefit is available for a total of two weeks and the program extends from September 27, 2020 to September 25, 2021. The eligibility requirements for the CRSB are as follows:

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

    • you are sick with COVID-19 or may have COVID-19;

    • you have been advised by either your employer, your doctor, a nurse practitioner, a person in authority, the government or the public health authority to self-isolate due to COVID-19;

    • you have an underlying health condition that puts you at greater risk of getting COVID-19 and have been advised to stay at home due to your health condition by a medical practitioner, a nurse practitioner, a person in authority, the government or your public health authority.

  • You cannot have applied for or received the CRB, CRCB, short term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits or EI during the same time period.

  • You must live and have a home in Canada but do not have to be a citizen or a permanent resident.

  • You must be present in Canada.

  • You must be at least 15 years old.

  • You must have a valid social insurance number.

  • You must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date that you applied from employment income, net self-employment income, maternity and parental benefits.

  • You cannot be receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

This benefit is for employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child who is under the age of 12 or a family member who requires supervised care. The benefit is available if the dependent’s school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The benefit provided is $500 per week and is available for a total of 26 weeks during the period between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. The eligibility criteria is as follows:

  • You must be unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are caring for a family member.

  • You are caring for your child under the age of 12 or a family member who requires supervised care because they are at home for one of the following reasons:

    • their school, daycare, day program, or care facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19;

    • their regular care services are unavailable due to COVID-19;

    • the person under your care is:

      • sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19;

      • have been advised by a medical professional that they are at risk of serious health complications if they get COVID-19;

      • have been advised by a medical practitioner, a nurse practitioner, a person in authority, the government or the public health authority to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

  • You cannot have applied for or be receiving during the same period benefits under the CRB or CRSB programs, short term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits or EI.

  • You must live and have a home in Canada, but do not have to be a citizen or a permanent resident.

  • You must be present in Canada.

  • You must be at least 15 years old.

  • You must have a valid social insurance number.

  • You must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months before the date you apply for the benefit from employment income, self-employment income and maternity and parental benefits.

  • You must be the only person in your household applying for the benefit for the week.

  • You must not be receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period.


Thank you for reading this - Jason Ward of WARDS LAWYERS PC.

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This WARDS LAWYERS PC blog is for general information only. It is not legal advice, or intended to be. Specific or more information may be necessary before advice could be provided for your circumstances.

More information? We're here to help - jason@wardlegal.ca | www.wardlegal.ca