The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way the world works. It created new struggles for Canadians. Health is at risk. Governments decided to lockdown communities to ensure their safety. Businesses had to close their doors temporarily.
This put many Canadians at risk financially.
The government introduced financial aid programs to help Canadians through the pandemic. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is one of the programs. CRSB gives income support to employed and self-employed Canadians in need. Another program helping Canadians stay employed is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
Has COVID-19 affected your finances? Speak to one of our credit counselling experts.
What is Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)?
The CRSB gives income to individuals who cannot work. Specifically, those who are sick or need to self-isolate because of COVID-19. Those with underlying health conditions also qualify for this benefit.
Administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), if you have to take time off work, without pay. If you worry about needing to take time off, keep reading. Financial support is available to individuals who are unable to work due to COVID-19.
CRSB will pay $500, $450 after taxes, for each week you must be away from work. Individuals can apply up to a total of 4 times.
Who is eligible to apply for CRSB?
Canadians who have missed at least 50% of work for the week, as a result of self-isolating, are eligible. Individuals have to self-isolate if they are sick with COVID-19, may have COVID-19, are advised to isolate due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
Your health care practitioner, a government authority, or public health authority can tell you to either self-isolate or confirm an underlying health condition. Your employer can also tell you to self-isolate. Self-isolation cannot be the result of international travel to be eligible for CRSB.
You cannot be receiving other government support while receiving CRSB. Anyone receiving: Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), short-term disability benefits, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits; cannot apply for CRSB for the same period. Anyone on paid leave from their employer is also not eligible.
You must be a resident in Canada, be at least 15 years old, be present in Canada, have a Social Insurance Number (SIN), and have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or 2020.
For more information, find the full eligibility requirements here.
If I am eligible, how do I claim my CRSB?
If you are eligible for the CRSB, there’re some things you must make sure to do. You must file your taxes. The CRA requires up-to-date tax filings.
You will have to make sure you have filed for 2019 and 2020. Make sure you register with the CRA and have an online account.
If you are filing your taxes online or have received other COVID-19 supports like CERB or CESB, you are likely registered with the CRA. Finally, make sure you are set up for direct deposits with the CRA to receive your funds quickly. Your application may delay up to 4 to 8 weeks should it need validation.
How to apply for CRSB?
The CRSB application is administered by the CRA. Login to your CRA My Account or call the CRA by phone. The CRA will make sure all the above is up-to-date. Then, they will begin your application for specific periods.
The CRSB contact number is 1-800-959-8281.
How long does CRSB last? The Periods You Can Apply for CRSB
Individuals can apply for CSRB for a total of 4 weeks between September 27, 2020, to October 23, 2021. It is unknown if the government will extend the program. As the COVID-19 situation continues, check government websites for up-to-date support information.
You can apply on the first Monday after the 1-week period you are applying for has ended. You must apply for each 1-week period every time you need the support. The application for each period remains open for 60 days after the period has ended. You may apply for any open period you are eligible for.
Below is a list of current and future periods still eligible for CRSB:
How does CRSB impact my taxes?
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit should have a minimal impact on your taxes. Each period withholds $50 for taxes. So long as you do not normally earn in a higher tax bracket, this amount should cover your taxes at the end of the year. If you do earn in a higher tax bracket, you may owe some taxes at the end of the year.
Should I Apply for CRSB?
During these hard economic times, government supports are useful. If you find yourself in a position of self-isolation with no pay from work. Apply for the CRSB. The CRSB is in place to help Canadians through difficult times.
It should not cause issues with your taxes. If you are in a higher tax bracket, you may need to pay additional taxes at the end of the year. Those who need the income now must not let future taxes stop them from getting support.
If you are eligible, apply for CRSB. However, if you are not eligible, avoid fraud and the need to return payments. For more help, read on how to recover financially from the pandemic or how to manage anxiety during COVID-19.