Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or CRSB is a Government of Canada initiative to help support COVID-19 affected Individuals and families.
As part of the recently launched Economic Response Plan initiatives, the Canadian government has announced a bunch of new programs to help support individuals, businesses and families who are affected by the pandemic.
As you all might know by now, CERB or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Program is ending on September 26th. With the CERB going away, still, millions of Canadians are out of the job and need financial help to survive.
A few of the newly introduced CERB alternatives are – CRB (Canada Recovery Benefit), CRSB ( Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit), a newly designed EI Program, Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), along with CESB for students.
From what I understand, to replace the CERB, 3 new programs have been introduced:
Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) – $500/week for 26 weeks. You must reapply every 2 weeks. Total Benefit Amount – $10,400 (considering you apply for all 26 weeks)
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) – $500/week for 26 weeks. Total Benefit Amount – $13,000 (considering you apply for all 26 weeks)
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – $500/week for 2 weeks. Total Benefit Amount- $1,000.
All 3 programs have a pending start date of September 27th. Even though, they are paid in retro. (you wait and then apply after the 2 weeks period)
In this article let’s try to focus on what CRSB is, how to apply for it, when does it come into effect, CRB vs. CRSB, CRSB vs EI and so on.
Before we begin, it is important to know that, at the time of writing this article, CRSB is still pending the passage of legislation in the House of Commons and Senate. More details will be made official soon. So make sure you bookmark this page for the latest updates and information. Let’s begin.
What Is CRSB?
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or CRSB is one of the recently launched COVID-19 Economic Response Plan by the Government of Canada. It comes into effect from the 27th of September.
CRSB will be in effect for the next 1 year, once it begins on the 27th.
The CRSB benefit is currently pending the passage of legislation in the House of Commons and Senate. More details will be made available soon by the Government in the coming days.
In case you are applying to the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), do check out my article on CERB, I have mentioned the step by step guide on how to apply. (Links below)
How much can you get from CRSB?
CRSB which begins on the 27th of September will pay $500 bi-weekly for 1 year. That’s $2000 per month in total.
The new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or CRSB will provide $500 per week, for up to 2 weeks, effective September 27, 2020 for 1 year, for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19.
If you are eligible for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), you can receive $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each 1-week period.
To apply for the CRSB, you must meet all the eligibility criteria and be employed or self-employed on the day before your first application period.
Who Can Apply for CRSB?
Alright then in this section, let’s look at who is eligible to apply for the CSRB and what the official guidelines are:
You must reside in Canada during the CRSB application period
You are at least 15 years of age; as on the first day of the application period and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) to possess
You must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020 or in the 12 months preceding your application. The sources of income can include: employment income, self-employment income, Employment Insurance (EI) maternity or parental benefits; or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
- You are not be required to produce a medical certificate to qualify for the CRSB benefit. You cannot claim or receive other paid sick leave for the same benefit period. To be eligible for CRSB, you should have missed a minimum of 60% of their scheduled work in the week for which they claim the benefit.
If you have been unable to work for at least 50% of your normally scheduled work within a given week because of being sick or required to self-isolate for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic
You are not in receipt of paid leave from an employer in respect of the same week
You are not in receipt of the CERB, the EI Emergency Response Benefit (ERB), the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or any EI benefits or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits in respect of the same week
How To Apply For CRSB?
Just like CERB, you can apply for CRSB by logging into your CRA My Account.
If you log in today, you’ll find no link to the CRSB.
Starting September 27th, from when you can start applying for the CRSB amount.
Even if the CRSB passes the senate in October, the eligibility dates will still be retroactive to Sept 27th. (official start date of the program). Remember, CERB was open for applications from April 6th, but you got paid for days starting March 15th.
You should probably see an update on the CRA My Account page. (As in CERB, the link to apply was right on the homepage, so should be something similar to that). At this moment, there is not much information available apart from the basic high-level guidelines.
To apply for CRSB, starting September 27th, please follow the below steps:
Login to your CRA My Account
Click on the CRSB Link (Probably it will be the same as the CERB link now and should be easily available on the CRA account homepage)
Follow through the questionnaires and you’ll need to self attest for minimum income requirements and eligibility conditions
Submit your CRSB application for review and wait for the CRA response.
The only difference between the CERB and CRSB is that, even though the monthly benefit amount is the same at $2000. CERB payments were made upfront for the entire month. (or the eligibility period).
Whereas with CRSB, it’s retro payments. You’ll only be able to apply for the payment after one week ($500 at a time) and complete the self-attestation that you are actively looking for work.
CRSB Benefit payments are taxable.
Since this is not EI, I don’t think you’ll have to file the Internet Reporting. Coz, CRSB is for people not eligible for EI in the first place.
CRSB Case Study
To better understand the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and how it works, let us consider the example of Emma.
Emma is working in a small grocery store in Toronto, ON and earns about $34,000 a year
She has been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
She just found out she must self-isolate for 14 days as a family member has tested positive for COVID-19
What could Emma qualify for: (as per CRSB)
- With the new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, Emma may be eligible to receive $500 per week, for up to two weeks provided that she is not in receipt of paid leave from her employer.
Useful CRA Links (CRSB and other benefits)
1. CRSB official CRA page: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit.html
2. CRSB CRA Contact page for any specific queries and help: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-sickness-benefit/crsb-contact.html
3. CRA’s benefits page in general: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits.html
4. CRA’s COVID-19 benefits and services page: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/covid19-emergency-benefits.html
5. Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan page: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
While the Government of Canada is doing its best to help Canadian families stay afloat during the pandemic, it is the responsibility of all of us to actively acknowledge, help and support the ones in need. These are tough times for everybody.
While CERB is phasing out this month on 26th, people still looking out for work should hopefully find one soon. But with the beginning of the second wave (official announcement by Justin Trudeau), everything looks and feels gloomy again with no signs of the vaccination.
To summarize, CRSB is starting from the 27th of September and is available to help the needy and those affected by the pandemic. If you meet the eligibility guidelines, please apply for one. starting tomorrow.
Do make sure to opt for direct bank payments on the CRA website, it’ll only make the process faster and you’ll receive the benefits sooner.
Thanks for reading and do let me know your thoughts and questions if any below.
Share this article with friends and family, looking for CRSB information.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.