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Canada Recovery Benefit

The newly announced, taxable, Canada Recovery Benefit will become effective from September 27, 2020, for one year and will provide a benefit amount of $400 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI – mainly those who are self-employed, including those working in the gig economy.

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 EI,
  • 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 that are eligible are to be required to apply every 2 week period for which they are seeking support and attest that they continue to meet the requirements. Similarly with the EI program, in order to continue to be eligible, the claimant would need to look for and accept work when it is reasonable to do so. To encourage individuals to return to work, they will be able to earn income while still receiving the benefit, as long as they continue to meet the other requirements. However, to ensure that the benefit targets those who need it most, claimants would need to repay some or all of the benefit through their income tax return if their annual net income, excluding the Canada Recovery Benefit payment, is over $38,000.

To summarize, claimants would need to repay $0.50 of the benefit for each dollar of their annual net income (above $38,000 in the calendar year) to a maximum of the amount of benefit they received.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The newly announced, taxable, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is set to provide $500/week, for up to 2 weeks, effective September 27, 2020, for 1 year, for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. Eligible workers, who have missed a minimum of 60% of their scheduled work in the week for which they claim, would apply after the one-week period in which they are seeking income support and attest they meet the requirements. Those who are claiming the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit are not allowed to receive other paid sick leave for the same benefit period.

The benefit will be available to:

  • 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.

Applicants will not be required to have a medical certificate to qualify for the benefit.

 

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The new, taxable, Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit, would be effective from September 27, 2020, for 1 year, and provide $500/week, for up to 26 weeks/household to eligible Canadians. Individuals would apply after the period in which they are seeking income support and attest they meet the requirements, however, two members residing in the same household cannot be in receipt of the benefit for the same period.

In order to be eligible 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 (SIN),
  • 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 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.

 

The CRA will administer the above Canada Recovery Benefits, and one would be able to apply through the CRA.

How to Apply

If you believe you are eligible for EI, then to apply:

  • For those Canadians that have been receiving/applied for CERB through Service Canada:
    • Eligible applicants will be transitioned to the EI program once they have received the maximum CERB benefits for which they are entitled.
  • For Canadians who are currently receiving the CERB through the CRA:
    • Those who believe they are entitled to EI will need to apply through Service Canada after September 26, 2020.
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