On August 20, 2020, the government announced that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended by an additional four weeks to a maximum of 28 weeks. Further, once an individual has exhausted their CERB benefits they may transition to traditional employment insurance (EI), or one of the three new EI programs. The changes will come into effect on September 27 and will be in place for one year.
The newly created EI programs are:
- The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) provides $400 per week for up to 26 weeks, to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for traditional EI and who still require income support and who are available and looking for work. This benefit will support Canadians whose income has dropped or not returned due to COVID-19.
- The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.
- The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for:
- a child under age 12 due to the closures of schools or daycares because of COVID-19.
- a family member with a disability or a dependent because their day program or care facility is closed due to COVID-19.
- a child, a family member with a disability, or a dependent who is not attending school, daycare, or other care facilities under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high-risk if they contract COVID-19.
Finally, the government will also freeze the EI insurance premium rates for two years, so Canadian workers and businesses will not face immediate increases to costs and payroll deductions due to the additional expenses resulting from the pandemic.
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