Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is still having a huge impact on the lives of many Canadians. Not to mention, lockdowns and other restrictions are preventing a lot of people from working. As a response to this crisis, the federal government is now offering several types of financial support to help the Canadians affected.
For example, the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) is a new program that offers weekly payments to those who cannot work due to government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns. Keep reading to learn what this government support is and whether you’re eligible to collect it this year.
What Is The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)?
Previously, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) was used to support Canadians who’d been financially affected by COVID-19. The CRB program formerly provided income to qualified workers who were unemployed, self-employed or had lost up to 50% of their earnings due to COVID-19, until it officially expired.
Unfortunately, on October 23, 2021, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) ended. However, since the COVID-19 situation is ongoing and more lockdowns seem imminent, the government has had to update their support system, which brings us to the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit. It is a program that is designed to support Canadians who’ve been unable to work due to government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns.
How Much Can You Get Through the CWLB?
Unlike some of the other federal support programs the government provides, the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit payment periods vary according to your region, so don’t forget to check when your province or territory is eligible before you apply.
Currently, the CWLB gives qualified workers up to $300 (or $270 after taxes) per week, during their region’s specified eligibility period, between October 24, 2021 and May 7, 2022 (the estimated dates when COVID-19 restrictions could tighten in that area).
Who Is Eligible For the CWLB?
As with other forms of government support, you have to reapply for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit for each week you wish to claim it. In this case, you must meet all the following requirements to qualify for a 1-week CWLB payment period:
- Be a Canadian resident and at least 15 years old
- Be present in an eligible region during its specified lockdown period
- Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine or are not obligated to get it for work
- Are not in quarantine or self-isolation due to international travel, unless you meet certain exceptions.
Tax Filing Requirements
- Filed a tax return in 2020
- Filed your 2021 and 2022 tax returns by December 31, 2023, if you received the CWLB for a period starting in 2022 and, if you received the benefit for a period starting in 2021, filed your 2021 tax return by December 31, 2022.
Income & Benefits Requirements
- To be eligible you must not be receiving the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) during the same period.
- Earned a minimum income of $5,000 in 2020, 2021 or during the 12 months prior to the date you apply for the CWLB.
Eligible Sources Of Income
- Employment income (total yearly or gross pay)
- Net self-employment income (once expenses are deducted)
- Employment Insurance (EI) regular, special or fishing benefits
- Maternity & parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits
- Income from the COVID-19 benefits
Lockdown & Employment Requirements
- There is a mandatory COVID-19 lockdown period going on in the area where you live, work or provide a recognized service (visit the Government of Canada website to check when your region is eligible)
- That lockdown period has resulted in you losing your job and becoming unemployed or unable to continue your self-employment work.
- The lockdown must also result in you seeing a 50% reduction of your average weekly employment or self-employment income, compared to the previous year.
- Additionally, you must not have quit or refused reasonable work. This includes:
- Voluntarily quit your job or stopped working
- Declined reasonable work
- Refused to go back to work when your employer requested it
- Chose not to work from home when the option was available
- Failed to continue self-employment when it was possible to do so
How Can You Apply For The CWLB?
There are two ways to apply for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit:
- Online – To claim a CWLB payment online, log into your CRA My Account or register for one with the Canada Revenue Agency during their service hours (services are available 21 hours a day, except from 3 – 6 AM for maintenance).
- By Phone – You can also contact the CRA directly by calling 1-800-959-8281 (or 1-800-665-0354 if using a teletypewriter) during designated hours. Additionally, you’ll need to provide these documents so the CRA can confirm your identity:
- Full Name & Date of Birth
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Complete Address
- Assessed Tax Return, Notice of Assessment or Reassessment, or other tax document (or be signed into your CRA My Account).
Keep in mind that the CRA may request other information if your application requires further inspection and any details they ask for must be provided within 30 days.
Requirements When Applying
Remember, the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit doesn’t renew automatically. To remain eligible, you must re-apply for each individual 1-week period, for as long as your region’s lockdown is in effect. You must also wait until your current weekly payment period is over before applying for the CWLB again (Monday after the first week).
The number of weeks that you’re able to apply for the CWLB varies according to the federal lockdown conditions of your region. If you meet all requirements, you can qualify for any eligible 1-week period, for a maximum of 60 days after that period concludes. If you qualify, you may apply for the first 8 CWLB periods until February 16, 2022.
Eligible Application Periods
Every 1-week CWLB period begins on Sunday and ends the following Saturday. Here are the eligible application dates for periods 1 to 28 – October 24, 2021 to May 7. 2022:
|Open For Application Periods|
|Period #1||October 24 – October 30, 2021|
|Period #2||October 31 – November 6, 2021|
|Period #3||November 7 – November 13, 2021|
|Period #4||November 14 – November 20, 2021|
|Period #5||November 21 – November 27, 2021|
|Period #6||November 28 – December 4, 2021|
|Period #7||December 5 – December 11, 2021|
|Period #8||December 12 – December 18, 2021|
|Period #9||December 19 – December 25, 2021|
|Period #10||December 26, 2021 – January 1, 2022|
|Upcoming Application Periods|
|Period #11||January 2 – January 8, 2022|
|Period #12||January 9 – January 15, 2022|
|Period #13||January 16 – January 22, 2022|
|Period #14||January 23 – January 29, 2022|
|Period #15||January 30 – February 5, 2022|
|Period #16||February 6 – February 12, 2022|
|Period #17||February 13 – February 19, 2022|
|Period #18||February 20 – February 26, 2022|
|Period #19||February 27 – March 5, 2022|
|Period #20||March 6 – March 12, 2022|
|Period #21||March 13 – March 19, 2022|
|Period #22||March 20 – March 26, 2022|
|Period #23||March 27 – April 2, 2022|
|Period #24||April 3 – April 9, 2022|
|Period #25||April 10 – April 16, 2022|
|Period #26||April 27 – April 23, 2022|
|Period #27||April 24 – April 30, 2022|
|Period #28||May 1 – May 7, 2022|
CWLB Payment Returns
There are a few reasons you might need to repay or return a payment from your Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to the CRA, including but not limited to:
- An error caused the CRA to send you a CWLB payment accidentally
- You didn’t file an income tax return for the year you got your payments
- You were approved for the CWLB but realized you weren’t eligible later on
No matter the reason, it’s extremely important to return your CWLB payment if you find out that you don’t actually qualify for it. Primarily, this is because people who claim government benefits with fraudulent intentions could be subject to serious legal ramifications, like fees and even prison (penalties depend on the gravity of the offense).
How To Repay Or Return A CWLB Payment
Luckily, there are 3 easy ways you can send CWLB payments back to the Canada Revenue Agency. Depending on the method you choose, there may be a number of payment options available, so visit the CRA website for further information:
- Online – Log into your CRA My Account. Under “COVID-19 Support”, you should find an option that allows you to return your CWLB payments by Interac Debit, Visa Debit or Debit Mastercard. You’ll also have those options with CRA My Payment, which lets you pay the CRA directly using your bank card.
- In Person – If you don’t have a CRA My Account or internet access, you can visit a Canada Post location to repay your CWLB debt with cash or debit. To do this, you need a QR code, which you can find on your remittance voucher or generate online via the CRA website. Watch out, as all these methods involve service fees.
- By Mail – You can mail in your payment by cheque, money order or using your original benefit cheque too. Simply make the cheque/order payable to “Receiver General for Canada” (unless it’s the original), state the benefit, eligibility period and reason you’re repaying, as well as your SIN, then send it to this address:
Revenue Processing – Repayment of CEB
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON, P3A 0C3
Can I Get This Benefit If I’m Unvaccinated?
When Will I Receive My CWLB Payments?
Is My CWLB Payment Taxable?
If so, the income you acquire through the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) can help you cover your expenses. Contact the Canada Revenue Agency or visit their website for more information about the CWLB and how to become eligible for it. Tax season is just around the corner, so make sure not to overlook anything!
Largest Lender Network In Canada
Save time and money with Loans Canada. Research and compare lenders before you apply. Share your experiences with Canada's top lenders.
50 Free Trades Offer
Almost $500 in commission-free trades. Code “50TRADESFREE”. Conditions apply.
Earn 5% Cash Back With Neo
Earn an average 5%¹ cash back at thousands of partners and at least 1%² cashback guaranteed.
Build Credit With Refresh
Build credit while spending money with the Refresh Financial VISA card.
Check out our interview with addy; a platform that allows Canadians to invest in different properties across Canada with as little as $1.