Prepared by: Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Current as of: March 19, 2021
A. Employment Insurance (EI) Regular Benefits
On March 17, 2021, new legislation came into effect, allowing workers to access an additional 24 weeks of EI regular benefits. The maximum of 50 weeks is available to workers who establish claims between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
In addition, self-employed workers who have opted in to the EI program to access special benefits are now able to use a 2020 earnings threshold of $5,000. This is a significant decrease compared to the previous threshold of $7,555. Special benefits include maternity/parental benefits, sickness benefits, and various caregiver benefits. This change is retroactive for EI claims established as of January 3, 2021 and applies until September 25, 2021.
You can apply for EI benefits through Service Canada.
B. Canada Recovery Benefits
The Government of Canada also passed new regulations to increase the number of weeks available under the three Canada Recovery Benefits.
- The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
Workers claiming the CRB can now access an additional 12 weeks, which extends the maximum duration of benefits from 26 to 38 weeks (or 19 eligibility periods).
You can apply for the CRB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
2. The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
The maximum number of weeks available under the CRCB has been extended by an additional 12 weeks. Eligible households can now access a maximum of 38 weeks (or 19 eligibility periods).
You can apply for the CRCB through the CRA.
3. The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefits (CRSB)
The new regulations also increased the number of weeks available under the CRSB from two to four weeks.
Additional access to the CRSB means that workers would not have to choose between going to work sick and maintaining their income for daily life.
You can apply for the CRSB through the CRA.
C. Eligibility for Federal COVID-19 Benefits
- Do you qualify for the Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB, CRCB, and CRSB)?
To see if you qualify for the Canada Recovery Benefits, go to our post:
- English: https://csalc.ca/new-covid-19-benefits-canada-recovery-benefit-canada-recovery-sickness-benefit-canada-recovery-caregiving-benefit/
- Vietnamese: https://csalc.ca/vi/new-covid-19-benefits-canada-recovery-benefit-canada-recovery-sickness-benefit-canada-recovery-caregiving-benefit/
- Traditional Chinese: https://csalc.ca/zh-hant/new-covid-19-benefits-canada-recovery-benefit-canada-recovery-sickness-benefit-canada-recovery-caregiving-benefit/
- Simplified Chinese (with video): https://csalc.ca/zh-hans/new-covid-19-benefits-canada-recovery-benefit-canada-recovery-sickness-benefit-canada-recovery-caregiving-benefit/
2. Do you qualify for Employment Insurance?
To see if you qualify for EI under the new temporary changes as of September 27, 2020, go to our post:
- English: https://csalc.ca/updates-cerb-employment-insurance-programs-august-2020/
- Vietnamese: https://csalc.ca/vi/updates-cerb-employment-insurance-programs-august-2020/
- Traditional Chinese (with video): https://csalc.ca/zh-hant/updates-to-cerb-and-employment-insurance-programs-august-2020/
- Simplified Chinese (with video): https://csalc.ca/zh-hans/updates-to-cerb-and-employment-insurance-programs-august-20