Coronavirus (COVID-19): Financial assistance for newcomers, temporary residents and refugees

Canada is helping people who are facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you live in Canada, even temporarily, there may be support for you.

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This section will be available in other languages soon

We updated the data in the sections below. The versions in other languages will be available again soon. As a reference, you may consult the older versions.

Canada child benefit

Employment Insurance and the Canada Recovery Benefit

New recovery benefits

The new recovery benefits are available between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

To give workers seeking employment the support they need to get back on their feet, the government has made changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program.

EI is now available to more workers, including those who would not have qualified for EI in the past, extending coverage to more than 400,000 people. Anyone receiving EI is eligible for a taxable benefit of at least $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits, and regular benefits are accessible for up to 50 weeks.

Additionally, to ensure that workers receive the support they need during these challenging times, 3 new benefits have been implemented:

Transition from Canada Emergency Response Benefit to Employment Insurance

The Government of Canada has announced changes to EI, and new recovery benefits that will continue to support workers.

If you need financial assistance after you received the CERB

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help you access EI benefits. These changes will be in effect for 1 year.

Find out if you qualify

If you received the CERB through Service Canada

After you received your last CERB payment, you must continue completing reports. In most cases, you did not need to apply for EI benefits. If you were receiving the CERB when it ended in early October 2020, we would have automatically reviewed your file and your Record of Employment, then started a claim for EI regular benefits if you qualified. If you did not qualify, you would have been notified by mail.

In a few cases, some workers needed to apply for EI benefits, including those who received CERB through Service Canada but stopped receiving it before the CERB ended in early October 2020.

Additionally, you needed to apply for EI after your CERB ended if

If you need sickness benefits instead of regular benefits

You can declare on your reports that you are unable to work for medical reasons, and you could receive up to 15 weeks of sickness benefits.

If you received the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency

If you believe you might be eligible for EI, you can apply for EI benefits after the end of your last CERB eligibility period. Visit EI benefits and leave to determine which benefit is right for your situation and to apply online.

Apply for Employment Insurance

Canada Recovery Benefit

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you need to apply again. You may apply for up to a total of 19 eligibility periods (38 weeks) between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

For more information, go to Canada Recovery Benefit.

Canada Recovery Benefit: Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit?

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is available to anyone who is residing and present in Canada for the 2 weeks for which they are applying for the CRB, and

Individuals must apply after every 2-week period for which they are seeking income support, and must attest that they continue to meet the requirements.

To encourage people to work, beneficiaries may earn income from employment and/or self-employment while receiving the CRB, as long as they continue to meet the other requirements.

However, to ensure that the CRB helps those who need it most, beneficiaries will need to repay through their income tax return $0.50 of the benefit they receive, for every dollar of net income earned above an annual net income of $38,000 (excluding the amount received for the CRB), up to the total of the CRB they received in a calendar year. Amounts repaid will not be included in taxable income.

Can I receive the Canada Recovery Benefit if I’m not a citizen or a permanent resident?

Yes, as long as you are residing and present in Canada during the period for which you are claiming the benefits and meet the other eligibility criteria.

When can I access the Canada Recovery Benefit?

Unlike the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) payment is retroactive. This means you

How do I apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit?

The best way to apply for any of the recovery benefits is online, via My Account. However, anyone who does not have access to the Internet can apply using the CRA’s automated toll-free phone lines: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

To obtain further information on how to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit visit the transitioning to new benefits Web page.

Can I receive more than one of the recovery benefits between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021? 

Yes, as long as you meet the applicable eligibility criteria. 

However, you cannot claim more than one of the recovery benefits for a given period. 

Also, you may not receive any of the recovery benefits if you are receiving Employment Insurance benefits, provincial maternity or parental benefits, or any other paid leave for the same period.

Can I access any Employment Insurance benefits while receiving the Canada Recovery Benefits? 

No.

You may not receive any of the recovery benefits at the same time you are receiving any Employment Insurance Benefits, provincial maternity or parental benefits, or any other paid leave.

Once I receive my first payment, can I assume that I will continue to receive my next payments without doing anything? 

No, the payments will not continue automatically.

A new application must be submitted for each eligibility period because you must attest that you were unable to work.

How will you decide my tax rate? 

The Canada Revenue Agency will apply a flat 10% deduction at source for all of the recovery benefits.

How do I know whether to apply for Employment Insurance benefits or the Canada Recovery Benefit?

If you’ve paid Employment Insurance (EI) premiums as an employee, and have at least 120 hours of insurable employment, you are likely eligible for EI benefits and should apply.

If you don’t have the minimum number of hours needed for an EI claim, you may be eligible to receive the Canada Recovery Benefit if you meet the eligibility criteria.

For how many weeks can I receive the Canada Recovery Benefit?

You can receive the Canada Recovery Benefit for up to 38 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

I was receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit until the end of June and then found employment but, although still employed, I am being asked by my employer to work reduced hours. Am I eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit?

You may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit if you have suffered a reduction in income of 50% or more due to COVID-19 and you meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

What constitutes a reduction in income when compared to pre-COVID times? Does a $1 reduction count? 

To be eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit while still working, you must have suffered a reduction in average weekly income of at least 50% relative to pre-pandemic levels.

A reduction in income is defined as a reduction in total average employment and self-employment income for the 2-week benefit period compared to your average employment income for a 2-week period the previous year.

To calculate your reduction in average income

For example, Deborah had net income of $39,000 in 2019. To determine her average earnings for a 2-week period prior to the pandemic, Deborah divides this amount by 26, producing $1,500. Because Deborah is currently earning only $700 every 2 weeks, she has suffered an income reduction of more than 50%, and is eligible to claim the Canada Recovery Benefit.

I’m a seasonal worker. I wasn’t able to work my usual number of hours because of the pandemic, so I do not qualify for Employment Insurance. Am I eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit? 

If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance, but are unable to work or are working reduced hours due to COVID-19, you could be eligible to receive the Canada Recovery Benefit, as long as you meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

This includes having earned at least $5,000 from employment or self-employment in the previous calendar year, or the 12 months prior to your first application for the Canada Recovery Benefit. You must also be unable to work, or have suffered an income reduction of 50% or more due to COVID-19.

I entered the labour force late in 2019 so was not able to earn $5,000, but I would have been able to earn that much in 2020 if I hadn’t lost my job due to COVID. Do I qualify for the Canada Recovery Benefit? 

No.

To be eligible to receive the Canada Recovery Benefit, you must have had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020, or in the 12-month period prior to your first application for the CRB.

If I’m paid income after applying for the Canada Recovery Benefit for work done before I applied, does it impact my ability to get the benefit?

You may earn income from employment and/or self-employment while receiving the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) as long as you continue to meet the other requirements. This includes earning 50% or less of your previous income for a 2-week period due to COVID-19.

However, you will be required to repay $0.50 of the CRB for every dollar in net income you earn above $38,000 for the year (excluding the CRB amount received). This would include amounts you earned in the year prior to applying for the CRB.

What constitutes the $38,000 in net income I am allowed to earn before I become subject to the repayment requirement?

You are allowed to earn up to $38,000 in net income (excluding the Canada Recovery Benefit amount received) before becoming subject to the repayment provision. 

What happens if I have net income over $38,000 in the tax year? How will the Canada Recovery Benefits be returned? 

If you receive the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), you’ll need to repay some or all of the benefit CRB through your income tax return if your annual net income, excluding the CRB payment, is more than $38,000.

In other words, you’d need to repay $0.50 of the CRB for each dollar of your annual net income above $38,000 in the calendar year, to a maximum of the amount of benefit you received.

This will be reconciled when you file your taxes for that calendar year.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they are sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you are eligible for the CRSB, you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a 1-week period.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply for up to a total of 4 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

For more information, go to Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under age 12, or a family member who needs supervised care.

This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they are sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you are eligible for the CRCB, your household can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.

If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again. You may apply for up to a total of 38 weeks between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021.

For more information, go to Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

How financial benefits affect family sponsorship

If you collected the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), you are still eligible to sponsor your spouse, parent, grandparent, child or other relative as long as you meet all of the requirements to be a sponsor.

The CERB is not considered social assistance. Collecting the CERB will not make you ineligible to sponsor.

Employment Insurance and the CERB will not cause you to default

If the person you sponsored collects Employment Insurance or the CERB during the undertaking period, it will not cause you to default.

However, if the person you sponsored collects social assistance during the undertaking period, you have to repay the amount. If you do not, you will be in default of your undertaking.

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