Federal Benefits Programs: How to Apply

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The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been replaced by three new programs: the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB). If you are planning to apply, here’s what you need to know.

To learn more about the legal impacts of COVID-19, please see our special guide.

Common steps for all three programs

Verify your eligibility

To see if you are eligible, please see our article on admissibility.

Apply online or by phone

You can apply for all three benefits online on the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) “My Account” website or toll-free via the CRA’s automated phone-line – 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. You must confirm your identity with your social insurance number, your postal code, and your date of birth.

Gather the necessary information

The CRA may contact you after you apply to verify your information or to get more information.

It will be easier to apply if you have already filed your 2019 taxes.

No automatic renewals

The three benefits do not renew automatically, you must reapply for the:

  • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) every 2 weeks (maximum 26 weeks).
  • Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) every week (maximum 2 weeks).
  • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) every week (maximum 26 weeks).

When will you receive the benefit?

The benefits are not paid ahead of time. You must wait until the end of each admissibility period before applying. You can apply up to 60 days after the end of each period.

It can take up to four weeks to process your application.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
Amount per week$500$500$500
Maximum number of weeks26 weeks2 weeks26 weeks
When do you reapply (if necessary?)Every 2 weeksEach weekEach week
Maximum income allowed for the year$38,000 (You must begin repaying once you make more than this)NoneNone
You can apply for all 3 benefits between Septembre 27, 2020 and Septembre 25, 2021

This benefit is for workers who have lost their job or have had their income reduced due to COVID-19.

Follow the steps on the CRA’s website to apply.

For each year, you can apply for up to 13 periods of two weeks each (total 26 weeks). The benefit is available between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. Please see the list of admissibility periods when you apply.

If your application is accepted, you will receive $1,000 ($900 after tax deductions at source) for each admissibility period of 2 weeks.

Important! If you make more than $38,000 (net) in 2020 or 2021 (excluding the CRB), you will have to repay CRB payments at the rate of $0.50 per dollar earned over $38,000. This repayment will be made when you file your taxes for 2020 or 2021. You do not have to repay more than you received in CRB payments.

Examples:

  • If you made $40,000 (net) in 2020 and you received $3,600 in CRB payments, you will have to repay $1,000 ($2,000 over $38,000, repaid at the rate of $0.50 per dollar, $1,000 total).
  • If you made $50,000 (net) in 2020 and you received $1,800 in CRB payments, you will have to repay $1,800 (even though the $0.50 per dollar calculation gives $6,000, your repayment is capped at the amount of CRB benefits you received).

This benefit is for workers who temporarily cannot work due to COVID-19.

Follow the steps on the CRA’s website to apply.

You can receive this benefit for a maximum of two weeks.

The benefit is available between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. Please see the list of admissibility periods when you apply.

If your application is accepted, you will receive $500 ($450 after tax deductions at source) for each admissibility period of one week.

This benefit is for workers who temporarily cannot work because they must care for a child or a family member due to COVID-19.

Follow the steps on the CRA’s website to apply.

You can receive this benefit for a maximum of 26 weeks.

For each year, you can apply for up to 26 periods of one week. The benefit is available between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. Please see the list of admissibility periods when you apply.

If your application is accepted, you will receive $500 ($450 after tax deductions at source) after each admissibility period of one week..

To learn more, you can visit the federal government’s Questions and Answers about Canada Recovery Benefits website.