October 5, 2020

On October 2, 2020, Bill C-4 the Covid-19 Response Measures Act received Royal Assent and is now law. The Bill is a replacement for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which is no longer available as of Sept. 26. The new Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB), will provide financial relief for Canadians who don’t qualify for an updated Employment Insurance (EI) program or one of the two accompanying benefits.

Who can apply for CRB?

CRB is for workers aged 15 and over who don’t qualify for EI or who are self-employed. If you lost your employment because of COVID-19, or if your income has dropped by at least 50 percent, then you may qualify. You must have earned a minimum of $5,000 in 2019, in 2020, or in the 12 months preceding your first application for this benefit — either from employment, EI, maternity or parental benefits.

How much are the CRB payments and how often will I get them?

You will receive $500 per week for up to 26 weeks.

How do I know if I qualify for EI?

For the next year, accessing EI benefits is much easier. To qualify for EI, you must have been employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks. If you received CERB, that 52-week deadline can be extended. These changes will also establish a minimum weekly benefit rate of $500 for EI recipients, at the same level as CRB.

What other benefits are there?

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are sick, or who must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19. People who receive paid sick leave from their employer are not eligible.

For more information on the CRSB, please check the CRA website. Applications for the CRSB opened October 5, 2020

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for a child or family member. You cannot claim CRCB or CRSB while on EI or CRB. For more information on the CRCB, please check the CRA website. Applications for the CRCB opened October 5, 2020.

Is CRB taxable?

All benefits received under the three Canada Recovery Benefit programs are considered taxable income.

Where do I apply for CRB

Just like CERB, you will be able to apply for CRB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) portal. Applications for the CRB will open October, 12, 2020. For more information on all these new programs, please see the government’s website.

Please continue to visit our website as your union, UFCW Local 333 will continue to update the membership on these and other benefit programs as information becomes available.