The Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB) has officially come to an end, and the Canadian Worker Lockdown Benefit has taken its place.
The new benefit is “strictly” available to workers living under government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns. Applications will be retroactive to October 24, 2021.
The program covers those who are not eligible for employment insurance (EI), as well as those who are as long as they are not receiving EI payments during the same time period.
Workers whose loss of employment or income is due to their refusal to adhere to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate are not able to access the benefit, the federal government said.
The Canadian Worker Lockdown Benefit pays $300 per week, and will be in place until May 7, 2022. Under CRB, workers were eligible for up to $500 per week.
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The new benefit was announced by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland at a press conference on October 21.
According to the federal government, employment is now back to pre-pandemic levels. The new benefit is more “narrowly targeted” to reflect Canada’s phase of economic recovery.
“Temporary local lockdowns are still a possibility in the months to come,” Freeland said.
“We want Canadians to know that we intend now to put in place a measure that would snap into action immediately to support workers in the event of a new local lockdown.”
With files from Brooke Taylor.