Canada’s New COVID-19 Benefits

COVID-19 Benefits Update for Canada

Beginning Saturday, October 23rd many COVID-19 support programs will expire. Instead, the federal government announced a $7.4-billion plan in place to support new COVID-19 benefits for hard-hit businesses and employees going into spring 2022.

HR4 has prepared a quick look at what’s expiring and the new benefits. 

Benefits Expiring 

  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
    • The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy provides a rent and mortgage subsidy for eligible expenses to qualifying businesses, charities and non-profits. This support is available directly to tenants and property owners.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) 
    • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides support to eligible employers to cover part of their employees’ wages.This subsidy helps employers re-hire workers, helps to prevent further job losses, and keeps employees on payroll at their place of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
    • The Canada Recovery Benefit provides support to eligible workers who:
      • are not employed or self-employed for reasons related to COVID-19  or have had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19
      • are not eligible for Employment Insurance (EI)
    • Will be replaced by  the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (see details below) 

New Benefits 

  • The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWL)
    • $300 per week benefit and only available to workers whose work disruption has been directly caused by a government-initiated public health lockdown.
    • Starts October 24th and will run until May 7th 2022
    • Available to those who are both ineligible and eligible to EI, provided that they are not receiving payment through EI for the same period 
      • Workers who have had a loss of income or employment due to their refusal to comply with a vaccine mandate would not be able to receive the benefit 
  • The Canada Recovery Hiring Program 
    • To be extended until May 7th 2022 
    • Benefit or employers with more than 10% loss in current revenue. An increase subsidy rate of up to 50 percent is also available
  • Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program – provides wage and rent support to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies and restaurants, with a subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent. Details here

  • Hardest Hit Business Recovery Program – intended to support other businesses that have incurred deep losses, with a subsidy rate of up to 50 per cent. Details here.

Extended Programs until summer 2022 

  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefits
    • Increases from 42 to 44 weeks 
    • The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit provides $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for up to 42 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 a family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19
      • 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.
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit 
    • Increases from four to six weeks 
    • The CRSB provides $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) per week for up to a maximum of four weeks, for workers who:
      • Are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19
      • Are self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19
      • 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.

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