Government of Canada announces plan to help support Canadians through the next phase of the recovery
Canadians have shown tremendous strength in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we begin to safely reopen our economies and businesses, our government is committed to supporting Canadians. We are helping businesses and workers get back on their feet, while making sure Canadians have the income supports they need. Together, we will get through this, and build a stronger Canada.”
— The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
“At a time of great uncertainty, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has provided millions of Canadians with the financial support they needed to get by. As we carefully and gradually reopen parts of our economy, we are transitioning to more nimble and flexible programs that will help get Canadians back to work, while ensuring we are able to quickly respond to any further labour market impacts due to the ongoing pandemic. We will get through these challenging times together and will not leave anyone behind in the process.”
— The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
“Canadians have had to show incredible resiliency in the face of a global pandemic and the worst economic crisis of our generation. Today’s announcement demonstrates our government’s commitment to supporting the health and safety of Canadians while the economy rebuilds. Since the earliest days of this crisis, the Canada Revenue Agency has made serving Canadians our priority. The CRA stands ready to help Canadians through this next phase by delivering the new Canada Recovery benefits.”
—The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue
On April 6, the CERB was launched to help Canadians who had to stop working for reasons related to COVID-19, or who were eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits.
On June 15, the CERB was extended by eight weeks, providing up to 24 weeks of benefits for those who still could not go back to work safely.
As of early August, 8.5 million individuals have benefitted from the CERB, and more than 4 million individuals have transitioned off the CERB and returned to work.
Effective August 9, the government has established a minimum unemployment rate for the EI program of 13.1 per cent across Canada.
The program will allow Canadians with 120 hours of insurable work or more to meet these new requirements by providing a temporary, one-time credit of 300 insurable hours for those claiming EI regular and work-sharing benefits. Canadians claiming EI special benefits – including maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver – they will be provided with a temporary, one-time credit of 480 insurable hours.
The CRB, CRSB, and CRCB will be in effect for one year, following the end of CERB payments. Canadians will be able to apply for these benefits through the Canada Revenue Agency. More details on how Canadians can get ready to apply will be available in the coming weeks at www.canada.ca/coronavirus.
Canadians should note that CERB payments are made in advance for pay periods, while EI and the new benefits are paid in arrears. More details will be communicated to Canadians shortly.
The government is also implementing temporary measures to support self-employed fish harvesters who rely on EI fishing benefits in the off-season. These measures will allow EI fishing benefits for these workers to be calculated using either their fishing earnings for their current claim, or their fishing earnings from their claim for the same season from the previous year, whichever is higher.
As the Province of Quebec delivers maternity, paternity, parental, and adoption benefits through the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, Quebec residents are not eligible for the measures relating to maternity and parental benefits.
Quebec residents would be eligible for the new measures relating to EI regular, fishing, sickness, family caregiver, or compassionate care benefits. They would also be eligible for the three new recovery benefits.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
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