The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everybody, which is why the Federal Government has created several programs to assist Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet during this crisis.
Employment Insurance (EI)
There has been temporary changes to the EI program to better support Canadians looking for work during the pandemic.
As of September 27th, you may be eligible for EI if you:
Were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past year;
Stopped working through no fault of your own;
Have not quit your job voluntarily;
Are ready, willing and capable of working each day;
Are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself
If you were receiving CERB, the 52 week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended.
If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits.
Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
This benefit will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who have stopped working or had their income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
CRSB provides $500 per week for up to a maximum of two 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.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
CRCB provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers who are
Unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19;
Unable to work 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.
Special one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment for persons with disabilities
The Government is providing a one-time, tax-free, non-reportable payment of $600 to help Canadians with disabilities who are recipients of any of the following programs or benefits:
Holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate;
Beneficiaries as of July 1, 2020 of:
Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD),
Quebec Pension Plan Disability Pension,
Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada
If you are eligible but never applied for the Disability Tax Credit, or your certificate expired in 2019, you must do so by September 25, 2020.
Payments are expected to be issued beginning this fall.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)
The Government is covering a portion of an employee's wages for eligible employers. CEWS will allow you to re-hire your employees and avoid layoff as the economy continues to safely reopen.
Increasing Credit Availability for Farmers
The Government has enabled Farm Credit Canada to provide an additional $5-Billion in lending to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially sound during this difficult time.
You can also contact your bank or credit union to discuss other support available.
AgriRecovery and AgriStability
The Government is launching a national AgriRecovery initiative of up to $125 million in funding to help producers faced with additional costs incurred by COVID-19, such as set-asides for cattle and hog management programs to manage livestock backed-up on farms, due to the temporary closure of food processing plants.
This new federal funding will help beef and pork producers and processors adapt to a changing market, and help farmers and ranchers keep their animals longer before marketing.
The Government is also working with provinces and territories to increase interim payments from 50% to 75% through AgriStability, a federal, provincial, and territorial program that supports producers who face significant revenue declines. This charge has already been enacted in some provinces.
Indigenous Community Support Fund
Applications are now open for the Indigenous Community Support Fund. Funding is available for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities, as well as Indigenous organizations serving Indigenous people in urban centres and off reserves during COVID-19.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent of property expenses, starting on September 27th, 2020, until June 2021.
This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.