The CERB program has now ended. The CRA will continue to accept retroactive applications for Period 7 (August 30 to September 26) through the CRA “My Account” service or automated toll-free phone line.

There are 4 replacement programs as follows:

  1. Transition from CERB to EI
  2. Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
  3. Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB)
  4. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Replacement Programs

A. Transition from CERB to EI

The Government will transition from the CERB to a flexible and more accessible EI program, starting September 27, 2020, as originally announced on August 20, 2020.

As a result of these temporary measures, EI will now be available to more Canadians, including those who would not have qualified for EI in the past, supporting an additional 400,000 people through the program. Canadians receiving EI are eligible for a taxable benefit at a rate of at least $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits. Canadians claiming EI benefits for job loss would be eligible for at least 26 weeks. Returning to the EI program will allow claimants to benefit from the Working While on Claim rules. These rules allow claimants to keep receiving part of their EI benefits and all their earnings from work. In addition, employers will once again be able to make use of registered Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plans to provide support to employees.

The EI program will also allow Canadians with 120 hours of insurable work or more to qualify by providing a temporary, one-time credit of 300 insurable hours for those claiming EI regular and work-sharing benefits. Canadians claiming EI special benefits – including maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver – will be provided with a temporary, one-time credit of 480 insurable hours.

In light of the continuing pandemic, the waiting period will be waived for EI sickness benefit claimants to encourage compliance with public health measures. The requirement to provide a medical certificate will also be waived for all sickness claimants. Service Canada will retain the ability to request evidence of sickness for integrity purposes.

To ensure a smooth transition to EI, the majority of Canadians still receiving the CERB through Service Canada who are eligible for EI will be automatically transitioned. Service Canada will contact all EI clients to confirm whether they need to apply or are being transitioned automatically. Clients can also verify the status of their claim in their My Service Canada Account.

  • Canadians who will need to apply to Service Canada to access EI benefits include:
  • 900-series Social Insurance Number holders;
    self-employed workers who received benefits through Service Canada; and,
  • Canadians who received the CERB from the Canada Revenue Agency but could have 120 hours of insurable and meet the other eligibility criteria.

As is normally the case, Canadians become eligible for their first EI payment at the end of the two weeks that they are out of work. This means, for example, that those switching to EI from CERB effective September 27, 2020, will be eligible for their first EI payment as of October 11. Over 80% of eligible Canadians are expected to receive their payment by October 14 – 3 days after becoming eligible, and over 90% are expected to be paid within 3 to 14 days.

Service Canada has nearly doubled the number of specialized EI call centre agents in advance of the expected unprecedented number of EI claims over the coming weeks. Nevertheless, Canadians who need to speak to an agent should expect long wait times due to the anticipated record call volumes. Service Canada thanks Canadians needing to speak to an agent for their understanding and patience.

B. Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CRB will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) 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. The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The program is not yet open but it is expected that you can apply online on October 21, 2020. Your eligibility ends after 13 periods. You cannot receive CRB after you have reached the maximum 13 periods (26 weeks). You may apply for benefits retroactively for any period up to 60 days after the particular period has ended.

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Each Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) eligibility period is a specific 2-week period. It begins and ends on specific dates. When you apply, you will receive a $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) payment for the period that you applied for.

The CRB does not renew automatically. You must apply for each period between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021 separately. You can apply for a maximum of 13 periods out of the total 26 periods available.

The 13 periods do not have to be taken consecutively.
You may apply for any period that you’re eligible for. If you meet all the eligibility criteria for the entire 2-week period, the earliest you can apply is the first Monday after the 2-week period has ended.

To be eligible for the CRB, you must meet all of the following conditions for the 2 week period you are applying for:

  1. During the period you are applying for you were not working for reasons related to COVID or you had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year (2019 gross income / 52 weeks / 2) due to COVID.
  2. You did not apply for or receive the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), short term disability, workers compensation, EI, or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan benefits.
  3. You were not eligible for EI
  4. You reside in Canada
  5. You were present in Canada
  6. You are at least 15 years old
  7. You have a valid SIN
  8. You earned at least $5,000 in 2019 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from employment, self-employment, maternity and parental benefits from EI.
  9. You have not quit your job or reduced your hours voluntarily on or after September 27, 2020
  10. You were seeking work during the period either as an employee or self-employed
  11. You have not turned down reasonable work during the 2 week period you are applying

C. Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) 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. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they’re sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you’re eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. You may start applying on the first Monday after the 1-week period you’re applying for has ended. Applications do not renew automatically.

You must apply for each period separately. You may apply for any period you are eligible for that is open for application, including up to 60 days after the period has ended.

Each Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) eligibility period is a specific 1-week period. When you apply, your household will receive a $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) payment for that period.

The CRCB does not renew automatically. If your situation continues, you must apply for each period separately. You may apply for any eligible 1-week period for up to 60 days after that period has ended.

Each household can apply up to a maximum of 26 periods between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. The 26 weeks do not need to be taken consecutively.

If you started caring for a family member part way through a period, you can only apply for that period if you missed more than 50% of that work week. If you miss less than that, you need to wait to apply for the next eligibility period.

Each 1-week period starts on a Sunday and ends on the following Saturday. You may start applying on the first Monday after the 1-week period you’re applying for has ended.

To be eligible for the CRCB, you must meet all of the following conditions for the 1 week period you are applying for:

  1. You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are caring for a family member
  2. You are caring for a child under 12 or a family member who needs supervised care because they are at home for any of the following reasons: their school, daycare, or care facility is closed or unavailable due to COVID, their regular care services are unavailable due to COVID, or the person under your care is either sick with COVID, has symptoms of COVID, at risk of serious health complications if they get COVID as advised by a medical professional, or is self-isolating due to COVID.
  3. You did not apply for or receive any of the Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, short term disability, workers compensation, EI, or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan benefits.
  4. You were not eligible for EI
  5. You reside in Canada
  6. You were present in Canada
  7. You are at least 15 years old
  8. You have a valid SIN
  9. You earned at least $5,000 in 2019 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from employment, self-employment, maternity and parental benefits from EI.
  10. You are the only person in your household applying for the benefit for the week
  11. You are not receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period.

D. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) 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. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they’re sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you’re eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Each Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) eligibility period is a specific 1-week period. When you apply, you will receive a $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) payment for that period.

The CRSB does not renew automatically. If your situation continues, you must apply for your second eligibility period separately. You may apply for any eligible 1-week period for up to 60 days after that period has ended.

You can apply for a maximum of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. The 2 weeks do not have to be taken consecutively.

If you become sick or have to self-isolate due to COVID-19 part way through a period, you can only apply for the period if you missed more than 50% of that work week. If you miss less than that, you need to wait to apply for the next eligibility period.

Each 1-week period starts on a Sunday and ends on the following Saturday. You may start applying on the first Monday after the 1-week period you’re applying for has ended.

To be eligible for the CRSB, you must meet all of the following conditions for the 1 week period you are applying for:

  1. You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are self-isolating due to one of the following situations: You are sick with COVID or may have COVID, you are advised to self-isolate due to COVID (by your employer, medical practitioner, nurse, person in authority, the government, you public health authority), you have an underlying health conditions that puts you at a greater risk of COVID (advised by a medical practitioner, a nurse, a person in authority, the government, your public health authority).
  2. You did not apply for or receive any of the Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit, short term disability, workers compensation, EI, or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan benefits.
  3. You were not eligible for EI
  4. You reside in Canada
  5. You were present in Canada
  6. You are at least 15 years old
  7. You have a valid SIN
  8. You earned at least $5,000 in 2019 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from employment, self-employment, maternity and parental benefits from EI.
  9. You are the only person in your household applying for the benefit for the week
    You are not receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period.

ANDERSONBRONSCH TEAM
ROMANOVSKY & ASSOCIATES LLP
CHARTERED PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS


Keith M.J. Anderson* BCom, CPA, CA-IT, CITP

Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant (Canada)
CA-Designated Information Technology Specialist (Canada)
Certified Information Technology Professional (US)
* Professional Corporation

Web: www.AlbertaCPA.com
Email: keith@albertacpa.com
Phone: 780 447 5830
Fax: 780 451 6291
Cell: 780 906 2223

Disclaimer:
This information is provided for general information purposes only. As legislation changes frequently, certain information may be out of date periodically. The complexity of the Law and the varied circumstances of each taxpayer dictates that the information provided may not be suitable in all circumstances. Readers must not rely on any information provided without first obtaining direct and competent professional advice. The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as substitute for any audit, advisory, tax or other professional advice, consultation or service. Therefore, the information is provided “as is” without warranties of any kind, express or implied, including accuracy, timeliness and completeness. In no event shall and associated parties to this information be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever.

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