This is our third letter on Canadian Covid-19 relief measures for taxpayers.
Last week, we sent out a communication explaining the difference between the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the wage subsidy. This communication addresses the difference between the new CERB and Employment Insurance benefits (EI) and also covers a few additional benefits that are available to certain individuals.
Although EI and the new CERB are similar, the benefits and eligibility are slightly different.
This is a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to four months retroactive to March 15. One would need to reapply after every 4-week period.
To qualify for this federal emergency aid measure, you must:
- Be an individual employee, self-employed or owner-manager who is not working due to Covid-19
- Have not applied for EI benefits
- Be at least 15 years of age
- Be a resident of Canada
- Have earned at least $5,000 in employment, self employment income (including maternity/paternal benefit or EI benefit) in the 12 months preceding the day on which you make an application for CERB. Please note that owner-managers who were in receipt of Canadian non-eligible dividends in the same timeframe as outlined in the preceding point are now also eligible for the CERB.
- Not be earning the types of income mentioned above for at least 14 consecutive days within each four-week cycle for the application
The application for the CERB is available starting today, April 6, 2020, on CRA’s My Account for Individuals. Please note that the CRA has designated login days based on birth month in order to keep the site activity to manageable levels. If you are in receipt of EI benefits, you should not apply for CERB unless your EI benefits end before October 3, 2020 and you are unable to return to work due to Covid-19.
EI benefits pay 55% of your average weekly earnings to a maximum of $573. Benefits are paid for a period between 14 and 45 weeks, depending on insurable hours worked.
To qualify for the benefits of this federal program, you must:
- Be quarantined, have been ordered to self-isolate due to Covid-19, have had your employment terminated, have refused to work and are in voluntary self-isolation, or have been laid off
- Have been paying into EI benefits and have worked between 420 and 700 hours in the past year.
The application for EI benefits can be done on-line through Service Canada.
Some other benefits that may available to you include the following.
CANADA CHILD BENEFIT (CCB)
- Maximum annual CCB payment increased by $300 per child for 2019-2020
- Benefit to be delivered in May
SPECIAL GOODS AND SERVICE TAX CREDIT PAYMENT
- Additional benefit of up to $400 for an individual and $600 for couples
- One-time special payment in early May
- Only available to low- and modest-income taxpayers
MORATORIUM ON REPAYMENT OF CANADA STUDENT LOANS
- Repayment suspended until September 30, 2020
- No interest to accrue during that period
- No need to apply for the moratorium
MORTGATE DEFERRAL PROGRAM
- Big Six banks to allow mortgage deferral for up to six months
- Contact your financial institution for details.
SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES PROGRAM (ONTARIO PROGRAM)
- A one-time payment of $200 per child under 12 and $250 per child with special needs
- All parents eligible, regardless of income
- Parents must apply for the provincial program
- If you received a payment under the Support for Parents program, you do not need to reapply. If you selected cheque payment, did not receive a direct deposit payment, or have additional children not yet in school you must reapply.
- Only one parent or guardian may apply for each child and parents/guardians must submit one application per child.
As always, we are here to bring you the most current information as developments unfold. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.