Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated December 17, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a dire financial situation for millions of Canadians who have lost their jobs or their businesses.

In response, the Canadian government has developed a handful of financial assistance programs to help Canadians who are struggling financially. 

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) may be available to those who cannot get access to paid sick leave and are either sick from COVID-19 or must isolate after being exposed to it. 

Check out how the CRB replaced the CERB.

What is CRSB?

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides financial support to Canadian workers and those who are self-employed and cannot work because of illness or the requirement to self-isolate as a result of potential exposure to COVID-19, or because of underlying medical issues that make them more vulnerable to contracting the virus. 

Those who qualify for CRSB can receive $500 for a 1-week period, which comes to $450 after taxes. The payment amount will remain unchanged for every 1-week time period a consumer applies for. 

Applicants can re-apply a total of 6 weeks if the situation continues and may do so up to May 7, 2022 (maybe extended further until July 2, 2022). The 6 total weeks of CRSB do not have to be taken sequentially. Applications for periods that are closed will not be accepted.

Find out if your COVID-19 benefits are taxable

How to Apply For CRSB

You can apply for CRSB in 2 ways:

  1. Through the CRA My Account. If you don’t already have a CRA My Account set up, you’ll first need to register. 
  2. By phone. You can call 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041 Monday through Sunday between 6 am to 3 am EST. To validate your application, you’ll need to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN), date of birth, and postal code. 

Find out if you have any uncashed cheques with the CRA.

How to Receive CRSB Payments

You can choose to receive your CRSB payments in one of 2 ways:

  • Direct deposit. It will take between 3 to 5 business days to receive payment via direct deposit. 
  • By mail. You’ll receive a cheque within 10 to 12 business days.

Did you receive double payments? Here’s what you should do if you received CERB double payments.

Eligibility For CRSB

In order to qualify for CRSB, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed or self-employed the day before the first application period
  • Be unable to work a minimum of 50% of your scheduled workweek as a result of self-isolation due to any of the following:
    • You are sick and have or may have COVID-19
    • You have been advised to self-isolate as a result of potential COVID-19 exposure
    • You have an underlying medical issue that places you at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19
  • You have not applied for or received any one of the following benefits over the same 1-week time period:
  • You live in Canada
  • You were in Canada during the week you are applying for
  • You are at least 15 years of age
  • You have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You earned a minimum of $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or within the 12-month period prior to your application date
  • You’re not getting paid leave from your employer for the same 1-week time period
  • You were not in quarantine or self-isolation after returning from international travel 

It’s important to be honest when applying for CRSB. Providing fraudulent information can result in heavy consequences, including penalty fees or possible jail time.

How Will CRSB Affect Your Tax Filing?

When you file your income tax return, the amount you have to pay will depend on the income you earned for the tax year. All CRSB payments received must be reported when you file your tax return. You should receive a T4A before March 10, 2022, from the CRA, which will outline the COVID-19 benefit amounts you received for the 2021 tax year. 

Find out if you can file your taxes for free.

Final Thoughts

If you are struggling financially and need a quick fix to cover your bills, you may qualify for CRSB. Just make sure you meet all eligibility criteria and have not already accessed certain types of financial assistance programs provided by the government of Canada.


Rating of 5/5 based on 2 votes.

Lisa has been working as a writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same. She's used a variety of financial tools over the years and is currently growing her money with Wealthsimple, while stashing some capital in a liquid high-interest savings account so that she always has a financial cushion to fall back on. She's also been avidly using her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect as many Aeroplan points as possible to put towards her travels!

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