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The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
What is the Canada Recovery Benefit?
The Canada Recovery Benefit has replaced the phased out CERB program. CRB provides income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are not eligible for the Employment Insurance benefits.
Through CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) per 2-week period for up to 26 weeks (13 eligibility periods between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.) CRB applications are open through the CRA portal, and you need to reapply every two weeks.
The CRA website has a detailed eligibility checklist that walks you through the process.
You may be eligible for the CRB if you:
- are a resident of Canada;
- are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number;
- have stopped working due to COVID-19 but are actively pursuing work;
- are working, but your employment/self-employment income has dropped by 50% or more;
- are not receiving any other government benefits like CRSB, CRCB, EI, disability;
- had an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020;
- did not quit your job voluntarily.
CRB is a benefit that includes people out of work from regular employment and gig workers, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.
How to apply
You need to reapply for the CRB on an ongoing basis as you need the support. Applications open every other Monday, and you apply for the two week period that just passed. The applications for the first 2-week period opened on October 12, 2020.
Applications are accepted through the CRA My Account portal. It is advisable to sign up for the direct deposit with the CRA, if you haven’t already, to make sure that the payment arrive as fast as possible.
Working and collecting CRB
The Canada Recovery Benefit is taxable income. The CRA will automatically withhold a 10% tax off all benefit payments, so you will receive a total of $900 every 2-week period.
You can still work while collecting CRB. However, if you report an income of $38,000 or more next year, you will need to pay half of what you collected through CRB back at tax time. That annual income amount does not include CRB but it does include support previously collected through CERB or similar benefits.