New Federal Programs to Assist Canadians Impacted By the Economic Fallout of COVID-19

Oct 07, 2020

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Posted by
Matt Mayers
Policy Analyst

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As the federal government enters its next phase of economic recovery, new programs have been announced, while others have been modified or phased out. The following programs may benefit REALTORS® impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has been extended until summer 2021. CEWS provides a wage subsidy for employers who have seen a reduction in revenue due to COVID-19 to allow them to re-hire workers and prevent further job loss.

Effective as of September 27, 2020, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits were temporarily expanded to include more Canadians. Eligible Canadians who were on CERB will receive the same payment, $500 per week, through EI. Most persons receiving CERB will not be required to reapply for these EI benefits, unless they are self-employed, have a SIN that starts with a 9 or have returned to work fulltime. Those who qualify for the new EI benefits will be required to continue completing reports to demonstrate eligibility. Those who do not qualify for the new EI benefits will be notified by mail.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will replace the Canada Economic Recovery Benefit (CERB), which ended on October 3. Beginning on October 12, CRB will assist Canadians who have stopped working due to COVID-19 but do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) or have experienced a reduction in income of at least 50 per cent. The program will be available until September 25, 2021.

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) will be extended and expanded. CEBA provides up to $40,000 in guaranteed loans, interest-free until 2022 as well as $10,000 in forgivable loans to eligible businesses and non-profits. It’s not yet known for how long the program will be extended.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is a new program that offers $500 per week to Canadians that might take time off from work due to COVID-19. The program is available until September 25, 2021. The program is currently open for applications.

The Canada Caregiving Benefit is a new program providing $500 per week for Canadians who need to care for a child under 12 or a family member due to daycare or school closure. Eligible applicants can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks.

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will provide assistance to businesses and communities that may require additional economic recovery assistance. The program will be available through individual regional development agencies and will provide support to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

You can find up-to-date information on these and other programs by accessing Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

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