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Updated:
September 20, 2021

The BC Recovery Benefit application is closed effective July 1, 2021.


If you receive a payment and it is later determined that you’re not eligible for it, you will be required to repay it. If you haven’t received your payment yet, the government is either still processing your application or they need more information from you. See the BC Recovery Benefit page for more information.

 

Updated:
July 5, 2021

The new Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, is effective from September 27, 2020 until September 25, 2021, and provides $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) per week, for up to 38 weeks per household to eligible Canadians. If your situation continues past 1 week, you will need to apply again.

The closure of schools and other daycare and day program facilities to prevent the spread of COVID 19 has meant that many Canadians have been unable to work because they needed to provide care to children or support to other dependents who had to stay home.

The benefit would be available to residents in Canada who:

  • are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • you are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are caring for a family member;
  • you are caring for your child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care because they are at home for one of the following reasons: Their school, daycare, day program, or care facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19 OR their regular care services are unavailable due to COVID-19 OR the person under your care is sick with COVID-19, has symptoms of COVID-19, is at risk of serious health complications if they get COVID-19, as advised by a medical professional or self-isolating due to COVID-19;
  • are not eligible for Employment Insurance;
  • had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020; and,
  • have not quit their job voluntarily.

See HERE for more information or to apply.

 

Updated:
July 5, 2021

The new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit provides $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) per week, for up to four weeks, effective September 27, 2020 until September 25, 2021, for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. Workers must reapply after each week, should they continue to require assistance.

The benefit would be available to residents in Canada who:

  • are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • you are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you're self-isolating for one of the following reasons: you are sick with COVID-19 or may have COVID-19 OR you are advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19;
  • are not eligible for Employment Insurance;
  • had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020; and,
  • have not quit their job voluntarily.

Note: On January 5, 2021, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that those returning from a vacation outside of Canada are NOT eligible for the benefit while completing their mandatory isolation period upon returning to Canada.

See HERE for more information or to apply.

Also see, “I have or may have the COVID-19 Coronavirus. In BC, can I take time off without losing my job?

 

Updated:
July 5, 2021

The new Canada Recovery Benefit is effective from September 27, 2020 to September 25, 2021 for one year and provides a benefit amount of $1000 ($900 after taxes withheld) per 2-week period for up to 38 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI, mainly the self-employed and including those working in the gig economy. These individuals may still require income support if they continue to be unable to return to work due to COVID-19 or had their income reduced relative to pre-COVID-19 pandemic (attestation-based).

The benefit would be available to residents in Canada who:

  • are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • have stopped working due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are available and looking for work; or are working and have had a reduction in their employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19;
  • are not eligible for Employment Insurance;
  • had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020; and,
  • have not quit their job voluntarily.

Workers apply after every two-week period for which they are seeking income support and attest that they continue to meet the requirements. In order to continue to be eligible for the benefit the claimant would need to look for and accept work when it is reasonable to do so. The benefit is taxable.

To encourage claimants to return to work, they would be able to earn income from employment and/or self-employment while receiving the benefit, as long as they continue to meet the other requirements. However, to ensure that the benefit targets those who need it most, claimants would need to repay some or all of the benefit through their income tax return if their annual net income, excluding the Canada Recovery Benefit payment, is over $38,000. In other words, claimants would need to repay $0.50 of the benefit for each dollar of their annual net income above $38,000 in the calendar year to a maximum of the amount of benefit they received.

For more information about the Canada Recovery Benefit or to apply, see HERE.

Updated:
July 5, 2021

We have made a table to help you figure out what benefits you may be eligible for. Be sure to check government sites for complete eligibility requirements.


 

My Situation

Financial Help Available

I have lost my job

Employment Insurance - after Sept 26, 2020

Canada Recovery Benefit - for those ineligible for EI benefits after Sept 26

I have reached my maximum 28 weeks of CERB

Canadians already receiving benefits through Service Canada will be transitioned to the EI program once they have received the maximum CERB benefits for which they are entitled. Those who believe they are entitled to EI will need to apply through Service Canada after September 26.  See HERE to learn more.

For those ineligible for EI benefits after Sept 26, 2020 they may be able to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit.

I can’t work because I have to take care of children or a sick relative

You may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit

My EI benefits just ran out or are about to run out

You may be able to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit.

I am sick with COVID-19 or am in quarantine

You may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

I just came off of maternal/paternal leave

If you cannot return to work after your maternity/paternity leave because of COVID-19, you may still be eligible for EI or the Canada Recovery Benefit depending on your situation

I am a student or recently graduated and job opportunities are scarce

Youth Canada Job Bank

Student Loan payment and interest suspension

Canada Student Grant

I am self-employed or a contractor and do not qualify for EI

You may be able to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit.

I lost a lot of work but still make some money or I lost one job but still have another job.

You may be able to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit.

I still have my job but my hours have been significantly or entirely reduced

You may be able to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit.

I am a seasonal worker

For those ineligible for EI benefits after Sept 26, they may be able to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit.

I am looking for a job

Visit the Government of Canada Job Bank

 

Updated:
July 5, 2021

On July 5, 2021, BC entered phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan. Over the coming weeks, workers may see an increased return to the workplace. You can find industry-specific information HERE

In Step 3 of the Restart plan, employers are no longer required to maintain a COVID-19 Safety Plan, and can instead transition to communicable disease prevention. Communicable disease prevention: A guide for employers describes a four-step process to help employers reduce the risk of communicable disease in their workplace. We've revised the guide to include a template that may be useful for employers in documenting and communicating their communicable disease prevention measures, practices, and policies.

If your employer is not following safety guidelines, talk to them first. You have the right to refuse unsafe work, but your refusal may be seen as quitting, which may impact your ability to receive unemployment benefits. You can also make a complaint  or raise an issue directly to WorkSafeBC.

Updated:
July 5, 2021

Starting with payments issued in April 2021, individuals on income assistance and disability assistance will automatically receive a permanent $175 per month increase. There will be an increase to the senior’s supplement of $50 per recipient, and for people on income assistance living in special care facilities, their comforts allowance will increase by $20 to $115 per month. More information can be found HERE.

Updated:
May 27, 2021

Starting April 27, 2020, eligible employers, including individuals, corporations and nonprofits, may apply for the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This allows Canadian employers who have been impacted by COVID-19 to receive a subsidy of up to 75% to cover employee wages for the period retroactive March 15, 2020 to March 13, 2021. The subsidy will be available until June 2021. See HERE for the new changes.

There are new changes to CEWS as of claim period 5 and later (July 5 to  December 19, 2020). The subsidy rate varies, depending on how much your revenue dropped, and if your revenue drop was less than 30% you can still qualify and keep getting the subsidy as employees return to work and your revenue recovers. For claim periods 11 to 13 (December 20, 2020, to March 13, 2021), the maximum top-up subsidy rate is 35%, the maximum subsidy amount for employees on leave with pay is $595 and the base revenue drop comparison months for period 11 will be the same as period 10. For claim periods 14 to 16, the maximum wage subsidy rate for active employees remains at 75%, and leave pay remains unchanged from previous periods.

If you missed the deadline for a claim period, you may now ask us to review your late request to apply for the subsidy (or increase your previously-claimed subsidy amount) under certain circumstances. You have a limited time to send a late request, and you must contact us first to see if you qualify. Updates can be found here.

The online CEWS calculator can be used to help estimate your subsidy amount. Applications can be submitted through various means, including the CRA. For additional information on eligibility and how to apply, visit the Government of Canada CEWS page.

Updated:
July 5, 2021

If you’ve lost your job or can’t work because of COVID-19 Coronavirus you may be eligible for a number of financial supports. To learn about the difference between each program and your eligibility requirements check out this Summary.

Updated:
July 5, 2021

To qualify for the CRB, CRCB, or CRSB you must have earned at least $5,000 in the last 12 months or in 2019 or 2020. Applications for the CERB have closed. To see the BC Recovery Benefit requirements, see HERE.

The $5,000 includes all employment and self-employment income. This includes among other types of income, tips you have declared as income.

For a list of all provincial and federal COVID-19 benefit programs, see HERE.

 

Updated:
July 5, 2021

In response to COVID-19 Coronavirus, a new unpaid, job-protected leave has been established for British Columbians unable to work for specified reasons relating to COVID-19 including:

  • you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • you are under quarantine or self-isolation (such as if you returned to Canada from abroad)
  • your employer has directed you not to come to work because they are concerned you may have been exposed
  • you need to take care of your child or dependent adult for a reason related to COVID-19
  • you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • you are outside of BC and unable to return to work due to travel or border restrictions

To learn more about the new COVID-19 Coronavirus leave, see HERE.

You may also be eligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave or COVID-19 paid vaccine leave. See HERE for a list of all provincial leaves of absence.

Furthermore, recent changes to the Employment Standards Act provide up to three days of unpaid, job-protected leave for employees who can't work due to personal illness or injury.

If you can, try to resolve your dispute with your employer. If you are unable to do so you can submit a formal complaint

If you are in need of legal advice you can reach out to Lawyer Referral Service for a free consultation. Contact them at 1-800-663-1919 or (604) 687-3221 or email lawyerreferral@accessprobono.ca  


For more information related to COVID employment issues see People’s Law School.

Updated:
July 5, 2021

You should go to the Labour Relations Board (LRB) website for the latest updates. So far the LRB is still taking applications and complaints but they advise their response may be delayed.

If you have any questions or concerns about an active file, the LRB can be reached at registrar@lrb.bc.ca. For any other questions contact information@lrb.bc.ca.

Updated:
July 5, 2021

Be sure to contact your union or check with your union’s web page for updated information

The BCGEU has a list of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus, information sheets, and a contact that members can use to ask COVID-19 questions.

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