Federal Programs Offering Financial Assistance During The Pandemic

Orange life saver bouy hanging on a wall.

There are various Federal Programs that have been created or adapted to provide some support to a wider variety of Canadians.  Here are a few of the programs and links that may be helpful as you navigate COVID related situations during this stressful time.

If you need to access overall financial assistance strategies and programs: 
This survey asks 8 quick questions about your overall financial situation relative to COVID and then provides some links to various programs and steps that could be taken:

https://covid-benefits.alpha.canada.ca/en/start

With an increasing number of employees who need to be off work for COVID related reasons for an extended period, below is some information on the Federal programs available.  Note that some can be applied retroactively.
    

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)   
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit.html

  • The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are 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 are 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 4 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
  • Criteria: You earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply.  An ROE is NOT required, however it may be needed if tax returns have not been done or there is proof of $5K needed in last 12 months.


Employment Insurance
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness.html

  • Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $595 a week. 
  • Temporary changes have been made to the EI program to help you access EI sickness benefits. The following changes are in effect until September 25, 2021, and could apply to you:
  • the waiting period may be waived
  • you don’t need to get a medical certificate
  • you only need 120 insured hours to qualify for benefits because you’ll get a one-time credit of 480 insured hours to help you meet the required 600 insured hours of work
  • you’ll receive at least $500 per week before taxes but you could receive more
  • if you received the CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  • An ROE is REQUIRED just like traditional EI.
 
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