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Government Rejigs COVID-19 Benefits Plan

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Today, Federal parliament passed the Liberal government's COVID-19 response plan announced on Mar. 20. It has also been passed by the Senate, so it will be enacted in short order.

As part of the package, relief benefits for workers affected by COVID-19 have been rejigged. Now, a single Canada Emergency Response Benefit worth $15-billion, will provide $2,000 per month for four months to individual workers affected by COVID-19.

Eligibility includes:

  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance
  • workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.

Application details will be available through My CRA and My Service Canada starting April 6. (We will notify you if the portals open before that.) It is estimated that payments will start flowing by mid-April.

It was also noted by Finance Minister Bill Morneau that applicants would have to meet only "a few, limited conditions to qualify." Those conditions will be outlined on the online application.

If you are not currently registered on either My CRA or My Service Canada, we suggest you sign up now if you are looking to apply for the benefit.

We will continue to keep you updated as announcements are made in the coming days and weeks. WGC staff are working remotely, but we are working. Our full contact list is HERE should you need our assistance. 

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