On March 25, 2020, the Canadian government announced the streamlining of the COVID-19 emergency benefit programs by introducing the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. The new program replaces the previously announced benefits – the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit – into one simpler and more accessible program.
The program is designed to support Canadian workers and businesses and stabilize the Canadian economy during these unprecedented times COVID-19 has challenged us with.
The following addresses the top five (5) questions we are receiving relating to Canada’s new benefit program:
1. Who does the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit program apply to?
The Canadian Emergency Benefit Program applies to the following groups:
- Those who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or are taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19
- Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for sick children or who are at home because of school or daycare closures
- Wage earners, contractors, and self-employed individuals who do not qualify for Employment Insurance (“EI”)
2. How much will I receive?
Canadians who qualify for the program will receive income support of $2,000.00 per month for up to sixteen (16) weeks.
Payments will be issued every four (4) weeks and will be available retroactively from March 15, 2020.
3. When will the program be available and how can I apply?
The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit program is expected to be available in early April. Applications will be accepted through an online portal, and once processed, eligible recipients can anticipate receiving their payments within ten (10) days.
4. If I am receiving EI and sickness benefits, can I apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit program?
You should not apply if you are currently receiving EI and sickness benefits. However, if the EI and sickness benefits end before October 3, 2020, you can apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit if you are unable to return to work due to COVID-19.
5. If I am still unemployed after the sixteen (16) week period covered by the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit program, can I apply for EI and sickness benefits?
Yes. If you are eligible and have not exhausted your entitlements, you may still apply for EI and sickness benefits following the sixteen (16) week period covered by the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.
For further information on the new Canadian Emergency Response Benefit program or other questions, whether relating to COVID-19, employment insurance, layoffs, or termination of employment, please contact Toronto employment lawyers, Sultan Lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-214-5111.
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