Who qualifies for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)?Updated May 3
In the 2021 budget, the government said they will increase the number of weeks that the Canada Recovery Benefit is available to a total of 50 weeks. They also said they will reduce the amount of the benefit from $500 to $300 for your final 8 weeks. These changes are not law yet, so this could change. We will update this information when we know more.
The Canadian government created the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) to replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). It is for people who do not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI). This includes most people who are:
- self-employed, or
- independent contractors, sometimes called gig workers.
The first day that you can get CRB money for is September 27, 2020. You will be able to apply for this money starting on October 12, 2020. It gives $500 a week for up to for 38 weeks. It will only be available for one year.
You apply for the CRB for 2 weeks at a time through your online CRA MyAccount. You must wait to apply until after you’ve missed two weeks of work. And you must apply within 60 days of missing work.
Who will qualify
To qualify for the CRB, all of the following must apply to you:
- you live in Canada, are at least 15 years old, and have a (SIN)
- you stopped working due to COVID-19 and are available and looking for work or you’re working but making less money because of COVID-19
- you’re not eligible for EI
- you had at least $5,000 in income from employment and self-employment in 2019 or 2020. Only your net earnings count for self-employment income.
- you did not quit your job voluntarily, which likely means you were fired or laid off
To qualify, you must also lose at least 50% of your normal weekly income during the two-weeks that you apply for the CRB. You can’t get the CRB if you voluntarily work fewer hours than normal.
Your “normal income” means your average weekly income:
- during 2019, or
- in the 12 months before you apply for the CRB.
How much you’ll get
The CRB will pay $500 a week for up to 38 weeks.
But, if you make more than $38,000 in 2020 or 2021, you’ll have to pay some of it back at tax time.
For every dollar you make over $38,000 in 2020 or 2021, you’ll have to pay back 50 cents. This means that if you make $40,000 in 2020, you’ll have to pay back $1,000.
And, if you make $46,000 or more in 2020, you’ll have to pay back all the money that you got from CRB.