Government Extends CERB, Announces Replacement Benefits 

Please note: the federal government is constantly updating their website as new information is announced. Remember to check Canada’s official coronavirus webpage and CREA’s COVID-19 online hub to stay up to date.

Yesterday, newly appointed Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough announced an extension to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program, and proposed three new temporary and taxable recovery benefits to further support workers through the pandemic economic recovery.

The measures unveiled during the press conference will extend CERB by an additional four weeks until September 27, before transitioning people who are still claiming CERB onto a revamped EI program or one of the three new recovery benefits. The proposed changes to the EI program will make it available to more Canadians, including those who would not have qualified in the past. Those receiving EI will be eligible for a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits, and regular benefits will be accessible for a minimum duration of 26 weeks.

Moreover, to ensure all Canadians receive the support they need, the government is proposing to implement three new benefits:

  1. The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is for self-employed workers not eligible for EI, who still require income support and are available and looking for work. The benefit will provide $400 per week for up to 26 weeks. The CRB will support Canadians whose income has dropped or not returned due to COVID-19, and will allow Canadians to earn more income while on claim;
  2. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19, which will provide $500 per week for up to two weeks;
  3. The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is for eligible Canadians who are unable to work because they must care for a child, dependent or family member because schools, daycares or care facilities are closed. The benefit will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household.

These new benefits will require additional legislation the government intends to introduce in the fall. For more information about the EI revamp, CRB, CRSB, or the CRCB, please consult Employment and Social Development Canada’s EI and Recovery Benefits backgrounder.

CREA regularly reached out to relevant government officials to ensure the self-employed professionals, independent contractors, and small business owners who comprise our membership were not left behind as this new iteration of financial support was taking shape. We continue to underline the need for broad eligibility to cover the diversity of business operations driving the Canadian economy and are pleased to see this has been reflected in the government’s announcement of the CRB, CRSB and CRCB.

The measures covered in this email are part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The government is constantly assessing the evolving situation and is likely to introduce additional measures as it deems necessary. We are monitoring the implementation of existing measures and continue to advocate on behalf of REALTORS® as new initiatives are developed.

This article is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. If you need professional advice you should consult a lawyer, accountant or other qualified professional.

The Canadian Real Estate Association
Phone: 613.237-7111 Email: info@crea.ca

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