New Government Support Announced for Those Unable to Work Due to COVID-19

CERB extension replacement

The Government of Canada has announced a four week extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and has also expanded on plans to help those currently receiving the CERB when that plan ends, including expansion of eligibility for Employment Insurance as well as three new benefit programs.

Since the Liberal Party prorogued Parliament, these initiatives cannot be formalized until late September when the House of Commons will begin a new session.

To begin with, the CERB will be extended for an additional four weeks, to a new maximum of 28, at which time that program is expected to end.

Eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits will also be expanded, with an anticipation that it will help an additional 400,000 people. This expansion will include the following interim measures to help people qualify:

  • 120 hours of work required to qualify
  • Minimum benefit rate of $400 per week, and
  • At least 26 weeks of regular benefits

Three New Programs

To replace the CERB, additional support will be offered through three new programs, each designed to address specific circumstances:

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

  • $400 per week
  • up to 26 weeks
  • links to Job Bank, Canada’s national employment service, with career planning tools for those seeking employment
  • for workers who are self-employed or otherwise not eligible for Employment Insurance but require income support and
  • who are available and looking for work.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

  • $500 per week
  • up to two weeks
  • for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

  • $500 per week
  • up to 26 weeks
  • per household
  • for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for:
    • a child under age 12 due to the closures of schools or daycares because of COVID-19.
    • a family member with a disability or a dependent because their day program or care facility is closed due to COVID-19.
    • a child, a family member with a disability, or a dependent who is not attending school, daycare, or other care facilities under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high-risk if they contract COVID-19.

Like the CERB, these three new benefits will be taxable.

For more details, click here.