With the closure of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”), the Government of Canada has introduced the Canada Recovery Benefit (“CRB”).
The CRB provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”).
To be eligible for the CRB, you must meet all of the following conditions for the two (2) week period you are applying for:
- You were not employed or self-employed for reasons related to COVID-19, or you had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year due to COVID-19;
- You did not apply for or receive any of the following:
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (“CRSB”);
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (“CRCB”);
- Short-term disability benefits;
- Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits; and/or
- Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (“QPIP”) benefits
- You were not eligible for EI benefits;
- You were resident in Canada;
- You were present in Canada;
- You are at least fifteen (15) years old;
- You have a valid Social Insurance Number (“SIN”);
- You earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from any of the following sources:
- Employment income (total or gross pay);
- Net self-employment income (After deducting expenses); and/or
- Maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits.
- You have not quit your job or reduced your hours voluntarily on or after September 27, 2020, unless it was reasonable to do so;
- You were seeking work during the period, either as an employee or in self-employment;
- You have not turned down reasonable work during the two (2) week period you are applying for; and
- You were not self-isolating or in quarantine due to international travel.
In addition, the federal government has amended the Employment Insurance (“EI”) program in order to increase access. The following changes have been implemented:
- Extending the qualifying period from 12 weeks to 16 weeks;
- Granting of a one-time credit of insurance hours for applicants with a minimum of 120 qualifying hours;
- Waiving the waiting period for regular, sickness or maternity/parental EI claimants;
- Implementing a minimum unemployment rate to determine benefits;
- Implementing a minimum benefit rate of $400.00 per week; and
- Freezing the EI premium rates at the 2020 level for at least two (2) years.
If you have any questions regarding the above as it relates to your employment, layoff or termination, contact Toronto employment lawyers, Sultan Lawyers, at (416) 214-5111 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.