New benefits for Canadians unable to work due to COVID-19 take effect next week

Oct 2 2020, 4:55 pm

After announcing new legislation to create “three new temporary recovery benefits to support Canadians who are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19,” the federal government said on Friday that the legislation will take effect starting Monday, October 5.

“Today, the COVID-19 Response Measures Act (formerly Bill C-4) received Royal Assent,” the government said in a statement.

Canadians will be able to apply through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the following benefits as of Monday, October 5:

  1. A Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.
  2. A Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) of $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

The government said these benefits will be paid on a weekly basis, meaning Canadians will have to reapply each week they are eligible.

Effective on October 12, the CRA will open the applications for the Canada Recovery Benefit, which will provide eligible workers with $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for those who have stopped working and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods.

To support the delivery of these new recovery benefits, the CRA will provide an attestation-based application process similar to the one used to access CERB payments. Eligible individuals will be able to apply for recovery benefits online through the CRA’s My Account portal or by phone through the CRA’s automated phone line.

“While many Canadians have been able to go back to work safely, there continue to be many who are unable to find work or are underemployed due to the ongoing public health crisis,” the government said. “This fall, as the Government transitions from the CERB to a flexible and more accessible Employment Insurance (EI) program, it is also continuing to support workers in need who do not qualify for EI, and providing new support that will allow Canadians to stay home when they are sick.”

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