Filipino workers in Canada may qualify for COVID-19 relief

The programs extend the same income support for Canadians to Filipino temporary workers

Filipino workers in Canada may qualify for COVID-19 relief

Filipinos who are temporarily working in Canada may be eligible for a new package of benefits that aim to cushion the impact of the pandemic on their earning capacity, Philippine labour officials said.

The new programs protect not only Canadian citizens but also Filipino temporary workers from the economic fallout of COVID-19, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Vancouver said.

Temporary workers may apply for the newly unveiled Canada Recovery Benefit, a federal program that provides beneficiaries with income support of CA$900 after taxes (approx. US$685 or 33,000 Philippine pesos) for a two-week period for a maximum of 26 weeks until September 2021.

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Filipinos can file for CRB income support if they have been laid off or are unable to work due to reasons related to COVID-19, or if they see a 50% decline in their average weekly income because of the pandemic.

The Canada Revenue Agency is accepting applications for Period 1 of the CRB starting this week.

The federal government launched the CRB along with two other relief programs in place of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) introduced in the early days of the pandemic:

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
Beneficiaries will receive income support of $500 a week for up to 26 weeks per household if they are off work for at least 50% of the week in order to care for:

  • A child or family member who is ill, quarantined or at high risk of developing serious illness because of COVID-19
  • A child or family member affected by the closure of schools, day cares centres or care facilities because of COVID-19

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Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
Beneficiaries will receive income support of $500 a week for up to a maximum of two weeks if they are off work for at least 50% of the week because they:

  • Contracted COVID-19
  • Quarantined for reasons related to COVID-19
  • Have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments for, or have contracted other illnesses that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19

Canada also recently extended coverage under the Employment Insurance program to include 400,000 new beneficiaries.

“The Canadian government’s continuous support to Temporary Filipino Workers is very much appreciated by the Philippines, most especially at this time of the pandemic,” Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement.

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