Canada Revenue Agency opens applications for enhanced Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

News release

August 17, 2020                      Ottawa, Ontario        Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was created to assist businesses affected by the COVID19 pandemic in keeping workers on their payroll or bringing back previously laid-off employees.

To ensure that Canadian workers and businesses are in a better position as our economy safely re-opens, the Government has recently implemented changes to the CEWS that broaden the reach of the program and provide more targeted support.

Today, the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, announced that the Canada Revenue Agency has opened applications for Period 5 – the first period of the enhanced CEWS program. Program changes for Periods 5-9 include: 

  • The extension of the CEWS, including redesigned program details, until November 21, 2020.
  • Increased eligibility, meaning that all eligible employers who've experienced a revenue drop can now qualify for a base subsidy. The subsidy amount is based on the revenue drop. 
  • Employers who are especially hard-hit can qualify for a top-up of up to 25%. 
  • Provide certainty for employers that have already made business decisions for July and August, by ensuring they will not receive a subsidy rate lower than they would have under the previous rules.

As the economy re-opens, the Government of Canada is encouraging employers to take another look at the CEWS program and see how it can support their workers and their operations. The Canada Revenue Agency's updated CEWS calculator can help small and large employers alike, by guiding them through a step-by-step process to prepare their applications and giving them a preview of the subsidy they may qualify for, based on the information they enter. 

Eligible employers can apply for period 5 of the CEWS through My Business Account or through the CRA's web form application. We would like to reassure applicants that we have added new security measures to the My Business Account portal following the recent cyber attack. Employers can submit their application securely as planned. Those who have registered their business payroll accounts for direct deposit can generally expect to receive subsidy payments within 3-5 business days.

The CEWS has provided $26.58B in subsidies to more than 275,000 employers, supporting millions of workers. The enhanced CEWS program launched today will benefit even more employers and workers, and the CRA is ensuring that the right tools and supports are in place to help employers access this important economic measure.


“The Canada Revenue Agency is here to help Canadian employers of all sizes in getting their employees back to work.  The Government has made significant enhancements to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by incorporating user and stakeholder feedback. As of today, more eligible employers can apply to receive funding. I encourage any employer who is struggling because of COVID19 to use the CRA’s CEWS calculator to see what kind of subsidy they could qualify for.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue

Quick facts

  • The CRA’s dedicated CEWS number 1-833-966-2099 offers access to agents who can provide information about eligibility requirements, calculating the CEWS, or how to apply. The line operates from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. local time.

Associated links


Jeremy Bellefeuille
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Revenue

Media Relations
Canada Revenue Agency

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