COVID-19 relief bill receives Royal Assent

New legislation provides three temporary benefits for out-of-work Canadians

COVID-19 relief bill receives Royal Assent

Royal Assent has been given to a new set of COVID-19 relief measures that guarantee continuing financial support for Canadians struggling through the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Response Measures Act received Royal Assent and will replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program that ended last week. The new legislation offers three temporary benefits to Canadians who are forced to stop working because of the ongoing health crisis.

Read more: More Canadians eligible for enhanced Employment Insurance

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

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

Workers may apply for the CRCB and CRSB via the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) starting Oct. 5.

Since income support will be paid out weekly, beneficiaries will have to keep re-applying for the benefit for every week they are eligible.

Canada Recovery Benefit
Out-of-work Canadians who do not qualify for Employment Insurance, as well as those who have seen their employment or self-employment income decline by at least 50% because of COVID-19, will receive $500 a week for up to 26 weeks. Income support will be paid out fortnightly.

The CRA will begin receiving applications for the CRB on Oct. 12 through the agency’s My Account online portal or by phone through its automated phone line.

Read more: What happens if you don't qualify for EI?

“Canadians have shown tremendous strength in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know that it is still here with us,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

“Parliamentarians of all stripes have come together to make sure Canadians continue to have the income supports they need and that we continue to provide sufficient resources for the fight against COVID-19,” she said.

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