Government of Canada launches applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

News release

April 27, 2020                           Ottawa                         Canada Revenue Agency

To help employers keep and re-hire workers amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has implemented the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This important economic measure provides a subsidy of 75% of an eligible employee's weekly earnings, to a maximum of $847 per employee per week, to eligible employers, for up to 12 weeks. Retroactive to March 15, 2020, the CEWS will prevent further job losses and encourage employers to re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is administering the CEWS on behalf of the Government.

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched the application process for the CEWS. As of today, employers can apply for the CEWS through My Business Account or through the CRA’s online application portal, and their representatives can apply through Represent a Client.

All claims that are approved through the CRA’s automated verification process will be sent for payment on May 5, so that payments being made through direct deposit should begin to appear in employers’ accounts as of May 7.  Some applications will require a secondary verification, done manually, and in these cases the CRA may contact employers to verify information.  It is expected that these secondary verifications will take no more than 72 hours in the vast majority of cases.

The CRA has again partnered with financial institutions to enroll Canadian employers for direct deposit, and employers can now register business payroll accounts for direct deposit with the CRA through their bank portals.

Signing up for direct deposit will enable employers whose applications are approved to receive their CEWS payments quickly and securely.  Employers can sign up for direct deposit with their financial institutions even after applying for the CEWS.

The CRA recognizes and appreciates the important role that stakeholder organizations are playing in providing feedback on how the CEWS program will operate. We look forward to continuing to work closely with employers and their representative organizations as we deliver the CEWS program.


“We are living in unprecedented times and CRA public servants have shown incredible dedication in delivering our government’s economic measures to see us through this crisis. We successfully delivered the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and are well-equipped to continue this important work for Canadian businesses. This $73 billion benefit will put Canadians back on the payroll and help our economy stabilize as we continue our fight against COVID-19 and look forward to our economic recovery from the crisis.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

Quick facts

  • The CRA delivers benefits payments to millions of Canadians and business owners every year; this is at the core of our business.

  • To ensure that the CRA  can provide efficient service to employers as we deliver this critical measure, we have dedicated significant resources including thousands of CRA employees across Canada who will be implementing the CEWS program.

Associated links


Jeremy Bellefeuille
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Revenue

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency


Stay Connected


Page details

Date modified: