New COVID-19 Benefits: A Quick Look at CRB, CRSB and CRCB – Eligibility, Payments, Duration, and Taxes

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COVID-19 Response Measures Act (formerly Bill C-4) which provides new benefits for workers left jobless or underemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic received Royal Assent on October 2. The bill replaces the now-defunct $500-per-week Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which came to an end on September 27 after helping almost nine million Canadians weather the impact of the pandemic.

In its place, workers impacted by the pandemic will have access to a more flexible and generous employment insurance regime and, for those who still don’t qualify for EI, a new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). The bill also creates a new sick leave benefit (Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit) and new caregiver benefit (Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit) for those forced to take time off work to care for a dependent due to the pandemic.

The government is expecting that of almost 9 million people who have received the CERB since March, 2.8 million CERB recipients will be transitioned to EI benefits. This includes over 400,000 workers who would qualify under the new flexible EI rules. Canadians on CERB who did not transition to new flexible E.I can apply for Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

All three benefits will be in place for one year beginning September 27, 2020.

I. Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

WHAT IS IT:

Canada Recovery Benefit 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.

HOW LONG IS THE BENEFIT FOR:

You can apply for a maximum of 13 periods out of the total 26 periods available between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Like CERB, you must reapply every 2 weeks for each period.

The first period when you can apply is from September 27 to October 10, 2020.

HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET:

$900 per 2-week period.

$1,000 (before taxes withheld) for each 2-week period that you apply for. After the CRA withholds a 10% tax at source, the actual payment you get is $900 per 2-week period.

HOW MUCH TAX SHOULD YOU PAY:

CRB claimants will have to repay some or all of the benefits through their income tax return if their annual net income, excluding the CRB, is over $38,000. If your net income is $38,000 or less, you will not have to reimburse the CRB.

Claimants will need to repay $0.50 of the benefit for each dollar of their annual net income above $38,000 in the calendar year up to a maximum of the amount of benefit they received. This means that, if you received $5000, and your net income in a calendar year is $48,000, you will have to repay the entire CRB amount you received.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE:

  • Are at least 15 years of age on the first day of the period for which they are applying for the benefit;
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • Have stopped working due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are not eligible for EI or are working and have had a reduction of at least 50% in their employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19;
  • Are available and looking for work, and who must accept work where it is reasonable to do so;
  • Had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020, or in the 12-month period prior to their first application for the Canada Recovery Benefit;
  • Have not quit their job voluntarily, unless it was reasonable to do so; and,
  • Have not rejected a reasonable job offer, rejected a request to resume work or failed to resume work if self-employed where reasonable to do so.

WHEN CAN YOU APPLY:

You can apply starting October 12th.

II. Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

WHAT IS CRCB:

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will pay $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.

HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET:

$450 after taxes per household for each 1-week period for a maximum of 26 weeks. CRA withholds a 10% tax at source of the eligible $500.

HOW LONG IS THE BENEFIT FOR:

You can apply for a maximum of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

You will have to reapply every week.

A household is entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks of Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

If two or more persons reside in the same household, the benefit can be shared among eligible workers but only one of them may be paid a Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit for any particular time.

HOW MUCH TAX SHOULD YOU PAY:

You will have to report CRCB payments you receive as income when you file your personal income tax return.

The tax you will have to pay will depend on your income.

The CRA will provide you with a T4A tax information slip at tax time for the amount you received for all CRA administered COVID-19 benefits.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR CRCB:

  • Are at least 15 years of age on the first day of the period for which they are applying for the benefit;
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • Are employed or self-employed at the time of the application;
  • Earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020, or in the 12 months preceding the day of their application;
  • Are not in receipt of paid leave during the 1-week period claimed; and
  • Are unable to work for at least 50% of the time that they would have otherwise worked or devoted to their work in the week for which they claim the benefit, because they had to care for a child under the age of 12 or another family member who requires supervised care:
    • Because their school, daycare, day program, or facility that they normally attend is unavailable, closed or open only certain times or for certain individuals; or
    • Because the care services or the person that usually cares for the child or family member is not available due to COVID-19; or,
    • Because they are sick and/or have been directed to quarantine for reasons related to COVID-19; or,
    • Because they are at high risk of serious health complications if they contracted COVID-19.

WHEN CAN YOU APPLY:

You can apply for CRCB starting October 5th.

III. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

WHAT IS CRSB:

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) pays $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.

HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET:

$450 after taxes per week for a maximum of 2 weeks. CRA withholds a 10% tax at the source of the eligible $500.

HOW LONG IS THE BENEFIT FOR:

You can apply for a maximum of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

If you are sick for more than 1 week, you will have to reapply for 1 more week.

HOW MUCH TAX SHOULD YOU PAY:

You will have to report CRSB payments you receive as income when you file your personal income tax return.

The tax you will have to pay will depend on your income.

The CRA will provide you with a T4A tax information slip at tax time for the amount you received for all CRA administered COVID-19 benefits.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE:

  • Are at least 15 years of age on the first day of the period for which they are applying for the benefit;
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • Are employed or self-employed at the time of the application;
  • Earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020, or in the 12 months preceding the day of their application;
  • Are not in receipt of paid leave during the period claimed; and
  • Are unable to work for at least 50% of the time that they would have otherwise worked or devoted to their work in the week for which they claim the benefit, because:
    • They are sick with or may have contracted COVID-19; or,
    • They have isolated themselves on the advice of their employer, a medical practitioner, a nurse practitioner, a person in authority, a government or a public health authority for reasons related to COVID-19; or,
    • They 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.

WHEN CAN YOU APPLY:

You can apply starting October 5th.

Check whether you are eligible for any kind of government financial assistance during COVOD-19

— With Files From the Canadian Press.

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