The Canadian government has created three new temporary monetary benefits as the pandemic rages on with some Canadian jurisdictions seeing rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates. These benefits have replaced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) that was available to help Canadians pay their expenses and support their households while off work because of COVID-19.
These benefits exist to support individuals who are self-employed and are not eligible for Employment Insurance (“EI”). However, the EI program and the new benefits are very similar and each offers an equal minimum weekly benefit rate.
The first benefit is the Canada Recovery Benefit (“CRB”). The CRB offers $500 per week up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI and who need monetary support. Individuals who apply for CRB must also have earned a minimum of $5,000 in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months before the application from employment income, self-employment income, EI or maternity or parental benefits. Individuals must also have had a reduction of at least 50% of their employment or self-employment income related to COVID-19.
The second benefit is the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (“CRSB”). The CRSB also offers $500 per week for up to two weeks. This benefit is for individuals who cannot work because they are sick or must self-isolate for up to two weeks due to COVID-19.
Finally, the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (“CRCB”). The CRCB also offers $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to individuals who cannot work because they must provide care to children or other family members due to the closure of schools, daycare centres or other care facilities due to COVID-19. Like the CRB, the individual applying for the CRCB must also have earned a minimum of $5,000 in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months before the application from employment income, self-employment income, EI or maternity or parental benefits. The individual must also be unable to work for at least 50% of their normally scheduled work within a week.
The CRB, CRSB and CRCB all work independently of each other. This means if that if you are in receipt of one benefit then you cannot also be in receipt of another of these benefits or EI. Please click here for more information on these benefits.