On February 19th, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a plan to increase the number of weeks available for benefits under the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) by 12 weeks, thus extending the maximum duration of the benefits to 38 weeks. The government also intends to double the number of weeks available under the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) from two weeks to four weeks. Trudeau also announced proposed changes to regular Employment Insurance.
The three recovery benefits are summarized for ease of reference here [also see also our blog post on October 5, 2020 linked below]:
- The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit provides $500 weekly for up to two weeks to workers who are unable to work at least half of the week for multiple reasons related to COVID-19, including contracting COVID-19 and self-isolating due to COVID-19. The proposed changes will extend this period to four weeks.
- The Canada Recovery Benefit provides Canadians $500 per week for up to 26 weeks if they have stopped working, are not eligible for EI, or have had their income reduced by at least 50% as a result of COVID-19. The proposed changes will extend the eligible benefit period to 38 weeks.
- The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit provides $500 weekly for up to 26 weeks for Canadians who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for an individual whose school or care facility is closed due to COVID-19, the individual they care for is sick or required to quarantine, or the individual they care for is particularly susceptible to poor outcomes from COVID-19. Only one household member may collect this benefit. The proposed changes will extend the eligible benefit period to 38 weeks.
In addition to the proposed changes above, Prime Minister Trudeau also announced proposed changes to Employment Insurance. The proposed changes would increase the maximum number of weeks for EI regular benefits for claims made between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. The previous changes to the EI regular benefits are also summarized in our blog post on October 5, 2020 which you can read here.
For more details, you can access the summary on the Canadian government’s website here.
We will post again once we learn if these proposed changes are approved and brought into force.