What happens when the CERB is discontinued? New COVID-related benefits explained
August 26, 2020 By: Jill Lewis Read Time: 4 minutes
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The CERB’s fast approaching discontinuance has given rise to the introduction of new benefits by the federal government that are set to be available on September 27th.

This blog provides a snapshot of three new benefits and how they can assist you in navigating these challenging times. They are the:

  1. Canada Recovery Benefit
    • for Canadians not entitled to EI regular benefits;
  2. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
    • for workers unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19;
  3. Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
    • For caregivers of children under 12 years of age or a family member with a disability whose care facility is closed or operates under an alternative schedule for reasons related to COVID-19

1. Canada Recovery Benefit

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The CERB’s fast approaching discontinuance has given rise to the introduction of new benefits by the federal government.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (“CRB”) is geared for Canadians who are not be entitled to EI regular benefits, such as self-employed employees. The CRB constitutes a payment of $400 per week for a period of 26 weeks. The following criteria must be met to be eligible for the CRB. You must:

  • be at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • have stopped working due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are available and looking for work; or are working and have had a reduction in their employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19;
  • not be eligible for Employment Insurance;
  • have had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020; and,
  • have not quit your job voluntarily.

Additionally, workers must look for and accept work when it is reasonable to do so. They can earn some income from either employment and/or self-employment while receiving the benefit, however, claimants who earn more then $38,000 per year, excluding the Canada Recovery Benefit payment, will have to repay .50 cents of the benefit for each dollar above $38,000 in the calendar year to a maximum of the amount of benefit they received. For example:

  • if a self-employed claimant received the Canada Recovery Benefit for 10 weeks ($4,000), but their net income from self-employed work in 2020 was $42,000, then they would have to pay back $2,000.

2. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (“CRSB”) is for workers unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. This benefit is a payment of $500 per week for a period of up to two weeks. Eligibility depends on whether you are a:

  • resident in Canada of at least 15 years of age and who has a valid SIN;
  • worker employed or self-employed at the time of the application; and,
  • worker who earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020.

You do not require a medical certificate to be eligible for this benefit. That said, you cannot receive both the CRSB and other paid sick leave for the same benefit period.

3. Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (“CRCB”) is for caregivers of children under 12 years of age or with a family member with a disability whose care facility is closed or operates under an alternative schedule for reasons related to COVID-19. The benefit pays $500 per week for a period of 26 weeks. TO be eligible, you must:

  • reside in Canada;
  • be at least 15 years of age on the first day of the period for which you apply for the benefit;
  • have a valid SIN;
  • be employed or self-employed on the day immediately preceding the period for which the application is made;
  • have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020;
  • have been unable to work for at least 60% of your normally scheduled work within a given week because of one of the following conditions:
    • you must take care of a child who is under 12 years of age on the first day of the period for which the benefit is claimed:
      • because their school or daycare is closed or operates under an alternative schedule for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
      • they cannot attend school or daycare under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if you contract COVID-19; or
      • because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic; or
    • you must provide care to a family member with a disability or a dependent:
      • because their day program or care facility is closed or operates under an alternative schedule for reasons related to COVID-19;
      • who cannot attend their day program or care facility under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19; or
      • because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • not be in receipt of paid leave from an employer in respect of the same week; and
  • not be in receipt of the CERB, the EI Emergency Response Benefit (ERB), the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or any EI benefits or Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits in respect of the same week.

Finally, note that two members residing in the same household cannot be in receipt of the benefit for the same period. The CRBC is also a taxable benefit.

For more information on the newly introduced benefits and how they interact with your employment situation, contact one our Employment Law Group.

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2020 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

Service: Employment Law

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