On August 20th, the Federal Government announced the extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by one month and the subsequent transition, on September 27th, to a simplified Employment Insurance (EI) Program for those who remain unable to work and are eligible.
Temporary revised EI benefit qualifications:
120 hours of work required to qualify
Minimum benefit rate of $400 per week
At least 26 weeks of regular benefits
Canada Recovery Benefit
Effective September 27th, 2020 for 1 year, the Canada Recovery Benefit will provide $400 / week for up to 26 weeks for those who are not eligible for EI, like self-employed and gig economy workers.
“The benefit would be available to residents in Canada who:
are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
have stopped working due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are available and looking for work; or are working and have had a reduction in their employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19;
are not eligible for Employment Insurance;
had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020; and,
have not quit their job voluntarily.
Workers would apply after every two-week period for which they are seeking income support and attest that they continue to meet the requirements. In order to continue to be eligible for the benefit the claimant wound need to look for and accept work when it is reasonable to do so. The benefit is taxable.”
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
Effective September 27th, 2020 for 1 year, the new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit will provide $500 / week for up to 2 weeks for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must isolate due to COVID-19.
Residents in Canada who are at least 15 years of age and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
Workers employed or self-employed at the time of the application; and
Workers who earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020.
Workers would not be required to have a medical certificate to qualify for the benefit. Workers could not claim the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and receive other paid sick leave for the same benefit period. Workers would need to have missed a minimum of 60% of their scheduled work in the week for which they claim the benefit.
Workers would apply after the one-week period in which they are seeking income support and attest that they meet the requirements. The benefit would taxable.”
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
Effective September 27th, 2020 for 1 year, the new Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit will provide $500 / week for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible Canadians.
The news release from canada.ca, states that:
“The closure of schools and other daycare and day program facilities to prevent the spread of COVID 19 has meant that many Canadians have been unable to work because they needed to provide care to children or support to other dependents who had to stay home. While it is anticipated that facilities will gradually re-open as the economy restarts, the Government of Canada recognizes that access may vary over time and across communities. The Government is committed to ensuring that parents and others with dependents do not need to choose between caring for them and paying the bills.”
In order to be eligible for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, individuals would need to:
reside in Canada;
be at least 15 years of age on the first day of the period for which they apply for the benefit;
have a valid Social Insurance Number;
be employed or self-employed on the day immediately preceding the period for which the application is made;
have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020;
have been unable to work for at least 60% of their normally scheduled work within a given week because of one of the following conditions:
they must take care of a child who is under 12 years of age on the first day of the period for which the benefit is claimed:
because their school or daycare is closed or operates under an alternative schedule for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
who cannot attend school or daycare under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19; or
because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic; or
they must provide care to a family member with a disability or a dependent:
because their day program or care facility is closed or operates under an alternative schedule for reasons related to COVID-19;
who cannot attend their day program or care facility under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19; or
because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
not be in receipt of paid leave from an employer in respect of the same week; and
not be in receipt of the CERB, the EI Emergency Response Benefit (ERB), the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or any EI benefits or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits in respect of the same week.
Workers would apply after the period in which they are seeking income support and attest that they meet the requirements. Two members residing in the same household could not be in receipt of the benefit for the same period. The benefit is taxable.
Great news for Canadians out of work and looking for work. The CERB will be extended another 8 weeks for a total of up to 24 weeks.
As the country begins to restart the economy, the Federal government will be making changes to the program to encourage Canadians receiving the benefit to get people back on the job. From Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s website:
“The Government of Canada introduced the CERB to immediately help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so they could continue to put food on the table and pay their bills during this challenging time. As we begin to restart the economy and get people back on the job, Canadians receiving the benefit should be actively seekingwork opportunities or planning to return to work, provided they are able and it is reasonable to do so.
That is why the government will also make changes to the CERB attestation, which will encourage Canadians receiving the benefit to find employment and consult Job Bank, Canada’s national employment service that offers tools to help with job searches.”
More small businesses can apply for CEBA $40,000 no-interest loans
Applications for the expanded Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will be accepted as of Friday, June 19th, 2020. Small businesses that are:
“… owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week.”
“The funds from this loan shall only be used by the Borrower to pay non-deferrable operating expenses of the Borrower including, without limitation, payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax and regularly scheduled debt service, and may not be used to fund any payments or expenses such as prepayment/refinancing of existing indebtedness, payments of dividends, distributions and increases in management compensation.”
The Government of Canada will be providing help to vulnerable seniors by providing a one-time tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for Old Age Security (OAS). For seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), they will receive an additional $200.
The intention for our “Guide to Covid-19: Government Relief Programs in Canada” is to help businesses and individuals to cut through the noise and make sure they’re getting all the help they can receive from the federal and provincial programs.
On May 1st, the BC Government will start taking applications online for the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers. Telephone applications will start on May 4th but it is strongly recommended that you apply online as they anticipate high call volumes. This benefit provides a one time payment of $1,000 to residents of BC whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit – $1,250/month from May through August or $1,750/month for those taking care of someone else or have a disability
Great news for students worried about financially making ends meet. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canada Emergency Student Benefit which provides $1,250/month from May through August or $1,750/month for those taking care of someone else or have a disability.
“Right now you might be worried about how to make ends meet. You probably can’t work your normal job and that might be a big problem for rent or for groceries. So we’re bringing in the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to help. With this benefit you’ll get $1,250 a month from May to August and if you take care of someone else or have a disability that amount will go up to $1,750 each month” – PM Justin Trudeau
On eligibility, the Prime Minister added:
“This benefit is designed for you. If you’re a post-secondary student right now. If you’re going to college in September or if you graduated in December 2019. It’s there for you even if you have a job but you’re only making up to $1,000 a month. The period for the benefit will start on May 1st and your payments will be delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency.”
Canada Student Service Grant – $1,000 to $5,000 to support students helping fight against COVID-19
For students looking to volunteer to help fight COVID-19, the Canada Student Service Grant provides $1,000 to $5,000:
“Of course the paying job isn’t the only valuable way to spend your summer. Volunteering can be a fantastic way to build skills, make contacts or just give back. If you are volunteering instead of working we’re going to make sure that you have support too. Students helping in the fight against COVID-19 this summer will soon be eligible for $1,000 to $5,000 depending on your hours through the new Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG). Your energy and your skills can do a lot of good right now” – PM Justin Trudeau
Details of these programs will be posted on the Government of Canada website. Keep checking their website for more details:
From his speech this morning (April 15th), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced:
“Today, we’re announcing more help for more Canadians. This includes topping up the pay of essential workers. At the same time, we’ll also be expanding the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to reach people who are earning some income as well as seasonal workers who are facing no jobs and for those who have run out of EI recently. Expanding the CERB to include people who earn up to $1,000 per month. Maybe you’re a volunteer firefighter, or a contractor who can pickup some shifts, or you have a part-time job in a grocery store.”
Eligibility for CERB
On eligibility for CERB, the Prime Minister stated:
“If you earn $1,000 or less a month, you’ll now be able to apply for CERB.
If you were expecting a seasonal job that isn’t coming because of COVID-19, you’ll now be able to apply.
If you’ve run out of EI since January 1st, you can now apply for CERB as well
And for others who still need help, including post secondary students and businesses worried about commercial rent, we’ll have more to say to you very soon.”
Wage Boost for Essential Workers
On topping up wages for Essential Workers, PM Justin Trudeau said:
“Our government will work with the provinces and territories to boost wages for essential workers who are making under $2,500 a month, like those in our long-term care facilities”
The government website is being updated with the new qualifications, for full details and to apply click below: