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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Canada introduced the CERB to help Canadians pay their bills and stay financially afloat. Since its introduction, the CERB has helped 8.5 million Canadians, but as of Septemeber 27, the CERB payments will stop. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have any more support. The government of Canada will be transitioning those who require CERB to a modified EI program. 

The Modified EI Program

The modified EI program will now accept individuals who previously did not qualify for EI, which will result in an increase of 400,000 people into the program. The EI program will not just include financial support but tools and resources to help Canadians find employment. These changes will be in effect for up to a year and you may receive this benefit for up to 26 weeks. 

Those eligible can receive a taxable benefit of up to $400 a week or $240 a week for extended parental benefits. Canadians who have lost work due to work shortages, mass layoffs or any other involuntary reason may apply. You must also actively be looking for work in order to be eligible. 

Under the modified EI program, claimants will be required to apply for the EI benefit every 2 weeks and provide a report on their employment search and status. This includes information such as the companies and employers you contacted as well as when you contacted them. 

Are you a business who has been affected by COVID-19? Check out what government financial assistance you qualify for. 

Transitioning From CERB to EI

If you were receiving CERB and believe you’re entitled to the EI benefits, here’s how you can transition from CERB to EI. 

  • How to transition using Service Canada Those who have been receiving CERB through service Canada will automatically be transferred into the new program if eligible. 
  • How to transition using CRA – Those who have been collecting CERB through the CRA will have to apply for the EI benefit through Service Canada.  

Check out the Government of Canada website for more on how to apply for the EI benefit. 

Three New Benefits 

For those who don’t qualify for the EI benefits, the Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-2. While it is currently under debate at the House of Commons, if passed, Canadians will be able to apply for the following three benefits through the Canada Revenue Agency:

  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The CERB Recovery Benefit (CRB) will be available to Canadians who are not eligible for EI or who are self-employed. In order to qualify, these individuals must be actively looking for work and have a drop in income of at least 50%. This means that you can still claim CRB even if you’re working. This benefit will provide eligible Canadians with $400 a week for up to 26 weeks. This CRB program will also include additional links, tools, and resources that will help Canadians find jobs faster. 

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is for employed Canadians who must self isolate due to COVID-19. Individuals eligible for this benefit will receive $500 each week for up to two weeks. 

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is for Canadians who are unable to work because they must care for a dependant. Individuals eligible for this benefit will receive $500 a week for up to 26 weeks per household.

Who Is Eligible For The CRCB? 

Workers who cannot work because they must care for: 

  • A child who is under the age of 12 and is unable to attend school or daycare due to COVID-19.
  • A child or family member with a disability who cannot attend school, daycare, or a care facility due to high health risks if they contract COVID-19. This decision must be advised by a medical professional. 
  • A family member with a disability or a dependent who cannot attend their day program or care facility because it is closed due to COVID-19.

For more information on the three new benefits, please visit the Government of Canada website

Future Outlook

With the second wave brewing more uncertainty, these new benefits will temporarily help support Canadians who are struggling. Moreover, it will likely help incentivize Canadians to start looking for work, which will help bolster the economy. Overall these benefits ensure that the government is committed to helping Canadians get back on their feet in these tough economic times. 

Priyanka Correia, BComm avatar on Loans Canada
Priyanka Correia, BComm

Priyanka Correia is a Marketing Coordinator and personal finance expert at Loans Canada. Priyanka completed her Bachelor's degree in Marketing at Concordia University and has published work that has been mentioned in various news media. She is passionate about money management and educating Canadian consumers about how to take control of their financial lives.

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