I’m on OW or ODSP. Can I get other income help during COVID-19?
When the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) ended, the Canadian government created 3 new recovery benefits related to COVID-19:
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), which is for people whose is affected by COVID-19
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), which is for people whose health is affected by COVID-19, or people who are self-isolating due to COVID-19
- Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB), which is for people who are taking care of a child or family member due to COVID-19
These new recovery benefits are managed by the Employment Insurance (EI) program. But they're different than regular EI benefits.
These new recovery benefits are for people who do not qualify for regular EI benefits. And they're specifically for COVID-19.
If you're currently on OW or ODSP, you must apply for any recovery benefits that you're eligible for. You can click on the links above to see if you're eligible for any of these new benefits.
If you're on OW or ODSP and think you're eligible for recovery benefits, it's a good idea to contact your local community legal clinic for free advice. Do this before you apply for the benefits. They can help you to confirm whether you're eligible and if you need to apply.
Money from recovery benefits counts as income
If you get money from any of the recovery benefits, OW and ODSP count that money as income. You must tell OW or ODSP if you get any money from the recovery benefits.
Normally, if your income is too high, you're not eligible for OW or ODSP. This is called being “financially ineligible”. But there are special rules that apply to income you get from recovery benefits.
Special rules to keep getting OW or ODSP
If your income becomes too high because of the recovery benefits, OW or ODSP will give you a special status.
This means that they'll give you a temporary payment of $2.50 each month, instead of the amount that they usually give you.
This temporary amount allows you to continue getting other benefits from OW or ODSP, such as health benefits, help finding work, or discretionary benefits like dental or vision care.