As the pandemic drags on, many are feeling the pinch financially as well as mentally and physically. The Government of Canada has updated several of its benefit programs and, as of mid-October, opened applications for a new support package called the Canada Recovery Benefit. (CRB) (Two other new benefits, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) also opened for applications earlier in October.)
“We know some Canadians are still struggling because of COVID-19. That is why today we launched the Canada Recovery Benefit, which will ensure Canadians who remain unemployed or have a reduced income due to the pandemic, qualify for financial support,” said The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, in a press release. “The CRA understands how important the delivery of the recovery benefits is to Canadians during this difficult time, and we remain committed to continuing doing this essential work. Now more than ever, it is vital that eligible Canadians get the support they are entitled to.”
Who is eligible for the CRB
The CRB provides both employed and self-employed individuals with support if they are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI). Those eligible can receive $1,000 (which works out to $900 as this benefit is tax-withheld) for a two-week period. If more support is needed after the two weeks have passed, you may apply again. There are 26 periods of eligibility for this benefit, ending on September 25, 2021.
How to apply for the CRB
The CRB benefit is administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Prior to applying you must confirm that you are registered with CRA. My Account is one of the most efficient ways for individuals to register. The CRB is fastest paid through direct deposit, so be sure you have your deposit information updated with CRA. You can request payment by cheque, however.
You may apply for the CRB online by signing into My Account, or by calling CRA’s toll-free automated line. If applying by phone, have your social insurance number, your postal code, and your date of birth ready. You will be given important information during the call; keep a pen and paper nearby to take notes.
Your application may require extra steps for validation. If so, you may be asked about your previous employment status (full time, self-employed) and about other benefits you may be receiving.
It can take up to four weeks to process your application.
For full details on applying for the CRB, visit www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit/crb-how-apply.html.
How AF Accounting Can Help
It’s a time of stress for many and this stress is compounded by how hard it is to get through to CRA due to higher call volumes. As an accounting firm focused on Canadian individuals and small businesses, we can help. We have information about CRAs benefit programs on our blog, and we are happy to answer questions about benefits you or your business may be entitled to, along with their tax implications. As the filing deadlines have also changed due to the pandemic, and some benefits are tax-withheld while others are not, we can also answer tax-related questions and advise on how to prepare for the upcoming tax season.
Contact AF Accounting to learn more about this, or how we can help you with your small business, e-commerce venture, or personal bookkeeping.