Oct. 13, 2020
A bill to provide support to people who have lost their jobs or are underemployed due to COVID-19 is now launched.
Bill C-4 introduced a replacement for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which is no longer available as of Sept. 26. The new Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB) provides financial relief for Canadians who don’t qualify for an updated Employment Insurance (EI) program or one of the two accompanying benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about how to claim CRB, and who’s eligible.
Who can apply for CRB?
CRB is for workers aged 15 and over who don’t qualify for EI or who are self-employed. If you lost your employment because of COVID-19, or if your income has dropped by at least 50 per cent, then you may qualify.
You must have earned a minimum of $5,000 in 2019, in 2020, or in the 12 months preceding your first application for this benefit — either from employment, EI, maternity or parental benefits or from Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits. You must also be available and looking for work.
How do I know if I qualify for EI?
For the next year, accessing EI benefits is much easier. To qualify for EI, you must have been employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks. If you received CERB, that 52-week deadline can be extended.
These changes will also establish a minimum weekly benefit rate of $500 for EI recipients, at the same level as CRB.
How much are the CRB payments and how often will I get them?
You will receive $500 per week for up to 26 weeks.
What other benefits are there?
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are sick, or who must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19. People who receive paid sick leave from their employer are not eligible.
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for a child or family member.
You cannot claim CRCB or CRSB while on EI or CRB.
Is CRB taxable?
All benefits received under the three Canada Recovery Benefit programs are considered taxable income.
Where do I apply for CRB
Just like CERB, you can apply for the CRB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) portal. Some applicants may be selected to validate their application, and should have materials to prove their employment status on stand-by.