CRB will be available starting Oct. 12
The federal government has given the COVID-19 Response Measures Act (formerly Bill C-4) royal assent, officially creating three new temporary recovery benefits to support Canadians unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19.
Bill C-4 replaces the now-defunct Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Previously, an economist warned that more than two million Canadians would be worse off transitioning from the CERB to the employment insurance (EI) program.
The new legislation provides the following:
- The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), which provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50 per cent 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 or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.
- The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), which provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50 per cent 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 Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), 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 per cent due to COVID-19.
However, the three new COVID benefits will be subject to 10 per cent withholding tax at source, such that a $500 benefit is $450 net, tweeted Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning at CIBC in Toronto.
The federal government first proposed the programs in August before upgrading the CRB in September.
Canadians can apply for the CRCB and the CRSB beginning today through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Both benefits will be paid on a weekly basis, meaning Canadians will have to reapply each week they are eligible.
Meanwhile, the CRA will open the applications for the CRB on Oct. 12. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods. 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.