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Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) explained

The government has proposed to extend the CRSB until May 7, 2022 and increase the maximum duration to 6 weeks from 4 weeks.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) was introduced as one of three measures to help those who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) and still need assistance, now that CERB has ended.

The CRSB is available from September 27, 2020 to October 23, 2021. This benefit will provide $500 per week for up to 2 weeks. The benefit paid out for each week will be $450, which is $500 less withholding tax of $50.

Who is eligible for CRSB?

To be eligible for the CRSB, applicants must:

  • Be resident and present in Canada during the week
  • Be at least 15 years old on the first day of the week
  • Have a valid SIN
  • Be unable to work because either
    • they contracted or may have contracted COVID-19,
    • they have underlying conditions or are undergoing treatment that would make them susceptible to COVID-19, or
    • they are isolating on the advice of their employer, medical practitioner or a person of authority
  • Be employed or self-employed at the time of the application
  • Have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020
  • Not have received EI, the CRB or the CRCB
  • Not have received other paid sick leave for the same period
  • Have missed a minimum of 50 percent of the time they would have worked, whether employed or self-employed, in the week that they claim the benefit

Successful applicants would need to reapply after every one-week period. This would include an attestation that they continue to meet the requirements.

How do I apply for CRSB?

Individuals must apply for the CRSB on CRA’s website for each week being applied for. This would include an attestation that they continue to meet the requirements.

Individuals can apply for a maximum of two weeks during the eligibility period; however, the two weeks do not need to be taken consecutively. The application must be completed no later than 60 days after the end of the two-week period they are applying for.

To expedite receipt of the payment, individuals should register for direct deposit as payment will likely be received in half the time. Furthermore, applicants should have filed their 2019 tax return; otherwise, it may cause delays with their application. Applications can be made through CRA’s My Account or by phone.

The CRSB is currently open for application as of October 5, for the one-week period of September 27 to October 3, 2020. Each week starts on a Sunday and ends on the following Saturday. The application for subsequent weeks will open on the Monday after the end of the one-week period.

Learn about the other measures introduced by the government for those who require assistance and don’t qualify for EI now that CERB has ended.

If you have questions about any of these programs, reach out to your local Grant Thornton advisor.