Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: Here’s How it Can Help Your Staff

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is a federal income support program. It provides monetary help to those employed and self-employed who can’t work because they are sick with COVID-19 or have a health condition that puts them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.  

Eligible applicants can get $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for a one-week period. If your circumstances remain unchanged beyond a week, you will have to re-apply for the Benefit.  

You may apply up to four weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. The four weeks don’t have to be taken consecutively. You can’t apply for periods that are closed.

Please note you may only apply for a one-week period if you missed more than 50% of that scheduled work week. If the days you’ve missed work are less than that – you will need to wait to apply for the next eligibly period.  

Who all are eligible to apply?

To receive the CRSB, you must meet all the following criteria in the period you apply for:

  • You are unable to work for at least 50% of your work week as you’re self-isolating either because you’re sick with COVID-19 or may have it or you’ve been advised to self-isolate.
  1. You have an underlying health condition due to which you’re at a higher risk of getting COVID-19.
  2. You did not apply for or receive any of the following for the same period:

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

Short-term disability benefits

Employment Insurance (EI) benefits

Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits

  1. You reside in Canada.
  2. You are at least 15 years old.
  3. You have a valid Social Insurance Number.
  4. You earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from any of the following sources:

Employment income (total or gross pay)

Net self-employment income (after deducting expenses)

Maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits

  1. You aren’t getting paid leave from your employer for the same period.
  2. You were not self-isolating or in quarantine due to international travel during this period.

How to apply?

You can apply either online through the CRA My Account or by phone. Those eligible can book their applications on the first Monday after the one-period they are eligible for gets over. You can apply for any eligible one-week period for up to 60 days after that period has ended.

How much time does it take for the payment to be processed?

If you have a direct deposit set up with the Canada Revenue Agency, you should receive the money in about three to five business days. If you are getting the funds by cheque, it should take about 10 to 12 business days.

Please note that you are required to report your CRSB payments as income when filing your personal income tax return.

How is CRSB different from Canada Recovery Benefit?

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is also an income support program for those affected by COVID-19. It provides financial assistance to those employed and self-employed people who are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

Those eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit can receive a $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a two-week period.

Like with CRSB, CRB applications do not renew automatically. If your situation continues beyond the two-week period, you will have to re-apply for the Benefit.

You may apply up to a total of 38 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Please note that those who are working and experienced a decline of 50% in their employment/self-employment income (compared to the previous year) due to COVID-19 are also eligible to apply. You can read more on the eligibility criteria here.

What about the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit?

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is for those who are employed or self-employed but not able to work because they must look after their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. They’d be eligible if the child’s school or facility is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19, or if the family member is sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications because of COVID-19.

Like CRSB and CRB, CRCB is also administered by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Eligible households can get $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) for each one-week period. You can re-apply if you need income support beyond the one-week period.

Each household can apply up to a total of 38 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. You can read more details on the eligibility criteria here.

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