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Updated:
November 23, 2020

The new Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, is effective from September 27, 2020 until September 25, 2021, and provides $500 per week, for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible Canadians.

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:
November 23, 2020

The new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit provides $500 per week, for up to two 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.

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.

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:
November 23, 2020

 

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 per 2-week period for up to 26 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.

Source:
Updated:
November 23, 2020

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ended on September 26, 2020. Workers who either stopped working due to COVID-19, are eligible for EI, or have exhausted their EI between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 can apply. Individuals eligible for CERB can receive the benefit for up to 28 weeks. December 2, 2020 is the last date to apply for payments retroactive March 15, 2020 to September 26, 2020. 

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, if they are EI eligible and continue to need income support. Canadians who are currently receiving the CERB from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) who believe they are entitled to EI will need to apply through Service Canada after September 26. 

The government has also introduced enhanced measures to help Canadians access EI. Workers must have 120 insurable hours to qualify. Those eligible will receive a minimum benefit rate of $400 per week for at least 26 weeks.

To learn more about the EI transition and enhancements, see Government of Canada.

Updated:
November 23, 2020

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

CERB - if you lost your job between March 15, 2020 and September 26, 2020, you may apply retroactively 

EI - if you became eligible for benefits before March 15 or after Sept 26

BC Emergency Benefit for Workers - applications opened May 1, 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, if they are EI eligible and continue to need income support. Canadians who are currently receiving the CERB from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) 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, 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

CERB may apply to your situation (if between March 15, 2020 and September 26, 2020)

 

After Sept. 26, you may be eligible for the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit

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

You may still qualify for the CERB if you exhaust your EI benefits between December 29, 2019 and September 26, 2020

 

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

I am sick with COVID-19 or am in quarantine

CERB applies to people who stopped work due to COVID-19 including if you are sick with it or are in quarantine

 

After Sept. 26, 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 CERB, 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

Self employment income counts towards the eligibility requirements of the CERB. You may still qualify (retroactive March 15, 2020 to September 26, 2020)

 

For those ineligible for EI benefits after Sept 26, they 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

Seasonal workers who recently ran out of EI benefits may still be eligible for the CERB (retroactive March 15, 2020 to September 26, 2020)

 

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:
November 23, 2020

On November 19, 2020, the provincial health officer (PHO) issued an order to all employers that includes requirements for a number of sectors including sports and recreation, gyms and fitness centres, faith-based organizations, party buses and limousines and extracurricular activities for youth.

In addition to these specific requirements, the order requires that all employers review their COVID-19 Safety Plan to ensure that appropriate protocols are in place to protect workers from the risk of transmission, that work-from-home options are employed where possible, and that workers and customers wear masks when not separated by space or barriers. This order is in effect until December 7, 2020. WorkSafeBC has updated guides to maintain a safe working environment during COVID-19 for both employers and employees. 

The People’s Law School ran a webinar on “Returning to Work During the Pandemic,” and you can watch the recording HERE.

 

Updated:
November 23, 2020

If you are on Income Assistance, Disability Assistance, Comforts Allowance or the BC Senior's Supplement, and not  on the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance, you will automatically receive an extra $300 a month for April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December. You do not need to do anything to receive this money as it will be added to your usual payment. 

If you are on disability assistance, you will also automatically receive an extra $52 transportation supplement beginning in April and continuing until BC Translink resumes charging fares. 

 

Updated:
November 23, 2020

Unless you lost your job on or after March 1st, 2020, unfortunately, no. The qualifications listed on the website say that you must be approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to be eligible for this particular benefit. This means that persons must have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or became eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

If you became eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits due to COVID-19 Coronavirus on or after March 15, 2020vuntil September 26, 2020, your EI claim may have been automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, allowing you to qualify for the BCEB. If you’re not sure, you can confirm by calling Service Canada at 1-833-699-0299.

For more information on other eligibility requirements go HERE.

Updated:
November 23, 2020

No, an ROE is not required to apply. Employers should still provide one, however, in case an employee later needs to apply for regular Employment Insurance. You may, however, be asked to provide additional documentation to verify your eligibility at a future date. For more questions and answers about the CERB go HERE.

For information regarding how to attain a Record of Employment, visit the Government of Canada ROE page.

Updated:
November 23, 2020

There are a number of federal programs designed to help employers keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

  1. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will cover up to 75% of an employee’s salary for the weeks between March 15 and November 21, 2020. Employers of all sizes can be eligible if they saw a gross revenue loss of at least 15% in March and and 30% in April, May and June. Eligible employers who had any drop in revenue can now qualify for the wage subsidy, starting with the claim periods that began July 5. Applications are open as of April 27, 2020. 

 

  1. The Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy is a separate program from CEWS but allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for 3 months (from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020). Maximum $1,375 per eligible employee and $25,000 per employer. 

 

  1. The Work Share Program helps employers and employees avoid layoffs by allowing employees to collect EI while voluntarily reducing hours and sharing the available work with other employees. To help employers keep employees on staff during COVID-19, the government has relaxed some requirements and extended the maximum length of the agreement.

 

  1. Temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program means employers can receive a subsidy to cover up to 100% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee, extend the end date of employment, adapt their projects, and hire employees part-time. 
  1. Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021. This program will cover up to 65 percent of rent or commercial mortgage interest on a sliding scale based on revenue declines, with an extra 25 per cent available to the hardest-hit firms.  


For a complete list of government initiatives established to support businesses during this time, see HERE.The government is encouraging employers to use these programs to keep employees on the payroll or to hire back employees they have already laid off. 

Updated:
November 23, 2020

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 December 19, 2020. The subsidy will be available until June 2021. See HERE for the new changes

For claim periods 1 to 4 (March 15 to July 4, 2020), you must meet a minimum of 15% (period 1) or 30% (periods 2 to 4) revenue drop to qualify for the subsidy. The subsidy rate is 75% of eligible employees' remuneration, up to a maximum of $847/week per eligible employee.

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.

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:
November 23, 2020

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:
November 23, 2020

To qualify for the CERB, CRB, CRCB, or CRSB you must have earned at least $5,000 in the last 12 months or in 2019 or 2020. To qualify for the BCEB, you must meet the CERB eligibility requirements. 

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

CERB has now ended but you can apply no later than December 2, 2020 for payments retroactive March 15, 2020, to September 26, 2020.

Go to Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for more information on the types of income that count towards the CERB income qualification. For a list of all provincial and federal COVID-19 benefit programs, see HERE.

 

Source:
Updated:
November 23, 2020

On November 19, 2020, the provincial health officer (PHO) issued an order to all employers that includes requirements for a number of sectors including sports and recreation, gyms and fitness centres, faith-based organizations, party buses and limousines and extracurricular activities for youth.

In addition to these specific requirements, the order requires that all employers review their COVID-19 Safety Plan to ensure that appropriate protocols are in place to protect workers from the risk of transmission, that work-from-home options are employed where possible, and that workers and customers wear masks when not separated by space or barriers. This order is in effect until December 7, 2020.

WorkSafeBC has published a range of information for employers and employees on how to maintain safety at the workplace during the crisis. See HERE for WorkSafeBC guidelines. Note the specific industry guides.

Every employer is required to have a COVID-19 safety plan that assesses the risk of exposure at their workplace and implements measures to keep their workers safe. Please be reminded that in accordance with the order of the Provincial Health Officer, this plan must be posted at the worksite. 

Updated:
November 23, 2020

Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. Anyone working in BC should understand their workplace health and safety responsibilities, which can be found at WorkSafeBC. However if your employer is following safety guidelines, your refusal could be taken as you quitting. Quitting has serious consequences as you will likely not be eligible for many of the benefits meant to help workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including the Canada Response Benefit. Consider your options before refusing work: talk to your boss about ways to make you feel more safe, review WorkSafeBC guidelines, and get legal advice. 

You may also make a complaint  or raise an issue directly to WorkSafeBC.

See: Can I get free legal advice during the COVID-19 crisis?

See People’s Law School’s COVID-19 Coronavirus page for more work-related information.

Updated:
November 23, 2020

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.

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:
November 23, 2020

If you became eligible for benefits before March 15, 2020 or after September 26, 2020, you should apply for EI. If you became eligible between on or after March 15, 2020 and Sept. 26, 2020, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), rather than EI. If you applied for EI on or after March 15th, your EI benefits will automatically be moved over to the CERB program. If you were receiving EI benefits prior to March 15th, then you will continue to be paid EI benefits until the end of your benefit period.


The final day of the last eligibility period for CERB was September 26, 2020. You may apply for payments retroactive March 15 to Sept 26, 2020 until December 2, 2020. Service Canada is asking that people stagger their application by birthday, so as to avoid overwhelming the system. Check Canada Emergency Response Benefit to see when your best time to apply is. See HERE to apply for EI.

Updated:
November 23, 2020

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:
November 23, 2020

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.

Updated:
November 23, 2020

The Canadian Government announced  a number of programs designed to help businesses during the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis, including:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for companies who experience a loss of revenue due to the outbreak may be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to 75%. This wage subsidy may be available to companies no matter how many employees they employ. Nonprofits are also eligible.
  • Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy
  • Extending the Work-Share Program
  • Increasing access to credit
  • Allowing businesses to defer paying income tax, GST, and customs duty payments
  • Applications for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) ended on October 30, 2020.
  • Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

For a full list and details of BC and federal programs to help businesses, see go to the  the BC COVID-19 Supports for Businesses and see the Federal Government’s Economic Response Plan.

To get answers to your COVID-19 business questions go to the BC Business COVID-19 Support Service and the COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre.

Updated:
November 23, 2020

Probably yes. First, consult your lease, and see if there’s any clause that you can point out that can relieve you of the obligation to pay rent during the pandemic. No matter what, try to keep communication lines open. Your landlord is no doubt aware of the situation. Perhaps you can defer the rent payment, or agree to just pay a part of it for a few months. 

If you have insurance, call your broker. It may be that you’re covered for business interruption insurance and can make a claim for compensation at this time.

Otherwise, the Business Development Bank of Canada has an emergency loan program for entrepreneurs. Take a look at the federal government announcement on how they intend to support businesses, including tax deferrals and paying part of employee wages.

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021. This program will cover up to 65 percent of rent or commercial mortgage interest on a sliding scale based on revenue declines, with an extra 25 per cent available to the hardest-hit firms. See the Government of Canada to learn more and/or apply.

For more help and information for businesses, see Small Business BC’s new COVID-19 Support Service.

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