Canada Recovery Benefit

Published by Mohamed Konate | Updated Oct 13, 2021

Canada Recovery Benefit: How to apply for Canadian recovery benefits

COVID-19 has hit the Canadian economy hard. Travel, tourism, and hospitality have been shut down on and off since March 15, 2020. Although these are the hardest hit industries, many companies have been affected by lockdowns and other effects of the pandemic indirectly. Hours and pay have been cut and people are generally struggling with their finances.

To address the economic impact, the Canadian government has three different recovery benefits for those affected by COVID-19, but who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. They are the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB).

What is the Canada Recovery Benefit?

The Canada Recovery Benefit is a government funded income support for employed and self-employed individuals affected by COVID-19 who are otherwise ineligible for Employment Insurance. This benefit is distributed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and is available from September 27, 2020 to September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Benefit eligibility criteria: who qualifies?

To qualify for the Canada Recovery Benefit there are certain criteria you must meet. The first benefit is a general income support. The second benefit is an income support for caregivers who have lost income to provide care for their child under 12 years old or required supervised care for other family members. The third income support is for individuals who are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19. This is a benefit put in place for those who would not qualify for other assistance. Review the below criteria to see if you qualify.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit is available at $1,000 in two-week periods. With eligibility to apply again every two weeks for up to 19 times (38 weeks). For each period you apply for, you must:

 

  1. Not be employed or self-employed because of COVID-19 related issues OR had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year because of COVID-19.
  2. Not have applied or received any:
    1. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
    2. Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
    3. Short-term disability benefits
    4. Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
    5. Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
  3. Not have been eligible for Employment Insurance
  4. Live in Canada
  5. Be present in Canada
  6. Be at least 15 years old
  7. Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  8. Earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months before you applied or received government income support (Employment Insurance, Social Assistance, Old Age Security payments. These payments do not count as income for the purposes of the $5,000.)
  9. Not have quit or reduce your work hours voluntarily since September 27, 2020
  10. Actively seeking work for the period you are applying for income support
  11. Not turn down reasonable work
  12. Not be self-isolating or in quarantine because of international travel

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit is available at $500 in one-week periods. With eligibility to apply again every week for up to 38 weeks. For each week period you apply for, you must:

 

  1. Be unable to work at least 50% of your work week because you are caring for a family member
  2. Caring for your child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care because their care facility/services are unavailable because of COVID-19
  3. Not have applied or received any:
    1. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
    2. Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
    3. short-term disability benefits
    4. Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
    5. Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
  4. Live in Canada
  5. Be present in Canada
  6. Be at least 15 years old
  7. Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  8. Earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months before you applied or received government income support (Employment Insurance, Social Assistance, Old Age Security payments. These payments do not count as income for the purposes of the $5,000.)
  9. Be the only person in your household applying for the benefit
  10. Not receive paid leave from your employer for the same period
  11. Not be self-isolating or in quarantine because of international travel

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is available at $500 in one-week periods. With eligibility to apply again every week for up to 4 weeks. For each weekly period you apply for, you must:

 

  1. Be unable to work at least 50% of your work week because you are self-isolating with COVID-19 or have been advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19
  2. Not have applied or received any:
    1. Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
    2. Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
    3. short-term disability benefits
    4. Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
    5. Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
  3. Live in Canada
  4. Be present in Canada
  5. Be at least 15 years old
  6. Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  7. Earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020 or in the 12 months before you applied or received government income support (Employment Insurance, Social Assistance, Old Age Security payments. These payments do not count as income for the purposes of the $5,000.)
  8. Not receive paid leave from your employer for the same period
  9. Not be self-isolating or in quarantine because of international travel

How much can you get from the Canada recovery benefits?

Depending on which benefit you are eligible and apply for, you will receive up to $500 per week. The overall total of how much you can receive varies immensely from individual to individual.

The CRB is distributed $1,000 at a time for two-week periods, and you are eligible to apply 19 times (38 weeks total). The CRCB is distributed $500 at a time for one-week periods, and you are eligible to apply 38 times total. The CRSB is distributed $500 at a time for one-week periods, and you are eligible to apply 4 times total.

How to apply for Canada Recovery Benefits

To apply for the Canada Recovery Benefits, you must have filed your 2019 and 2020 income taxes, be registered with the CRA, have an active bank account, and check for impacts on any other social assistance benefits you may receive. You must apply on the first Monday after the period you apply for has ended and reapply for each period you are eligible for. You can either apply online or over the phone by calling the CRA.

What are the tax impacts?

The CRA will withhold 10% of all payments for tax purposes. For example, your gross benefit is $1,000 which means you get $900 because of tax deducted at the source. This will not be the total tax you owe. At the end of the year, you will receive at T4A slip which will include all income earned from this benefit. File your taxes as normal. If you earn over $38,000, you will have to pay back $0.50 of any CRB received for every dollar over a net income of $38,000.

It may be daunting to consider, but if you need income support, apply for the Canadian Recovery Benefits. They withhold a portion for tax purposes which will reduce your burden come tax filing season. We are living in unprecedented times and the Canadian government is stepping in to provide support while we restabilize.

Author Bio

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Mohamed Konate

Mohamed Konate is a personal finance expert, blogger, and marketing consultant based out of Toronto. He is a former financial services professional who worked for many years at major Canadian financial institutions where he managed the marketing strategy around various financial products ranging from credit cards to lines of credit. Mohamed is passionate about personal finance and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Quebec (Montreal) and a Master in International Business from the University of Sherbrooke (Quebec).He is also the author of the Canadian Credit Card Guidebook.