As of September 27th, 2020, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) replaces CERB. CRB pays out $1,000 every 2 weeks and is available to employed and self-employed individuals who have been laid off or seen their income reduced due to COVID-19.
CRB is taxed at a rate of 10% at the source, so you get $900 in your bank account (or via cheque) for every 2-week period. You’re required to reapply for CRB every two weeks with a total of 13 eligible periods. That means you can get a total of 26 weeks of CRB payments between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. CRB payments are done via the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), so make sure you have an account set up.
- Resident of Canada
- Must be at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Have stopped working due to the Pandemic, but are looking for work
- You have not turned down reasonable work during the 2-week period that you’re applying
- You’re working, but your employment/self-employment income has dropped by at least 50% due to COVID-19
- You’re not receiving any other government benefits e.g. CRSB, CRCB, EI, disability
- Had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020
- Did not quit your job
- Applies to self-employed and gig economy workers
Although the eligibility list for CRB seems long, it’s pretty straightforward when you look at things. Basically, it’s meant to help anyone who has lost work due to COVID-19. It’s important to note that the CRA will verify your eligibility so if you purposely put in a false claim, you could face fines or even jail time. The CRA may also ask for additional supporting materials to confirm your eligibility.
How much does CRB pay?
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) pays $1,000 every 2-week period which you apply. The CRA withholds 10% for taxes, so you’ll end up with $900 every two weeks. Remember, the CRB lasts a maximum period of 13 weeks and you need to apply for each period.
Although 10% of your payment is taken off at the source, you may need to pay additional taxes depending on your income when you file your taxes. You’ll be provided with a T4A so things will be easy when you do your taxes.
The CRB is designed to encourage you to continue to work. Your payments only get reduced if you make over $38,000 (excluding CRB payments) in the calendar year. For every dollar earned over $38,000, you would have to repay $0.50 of the CRB. Don’t worry, you only need to repay what you earned from the CRB. That means you won’t ever pay back more than you earned.
Some people may think this is not a good deal, but the idea is that if you’ve earned more than $38,000, then you don’t need as much support from the CRB. It’s a fair system since repayments are only made after you’ve made a decent income. To be clear, if you’ve made less than $38,000, you do not need to repay the Canada Recovery Benefit.
When to apply for CRB?
Applying for the CRB applies to specific two week periods. You would apply on the Monday after the first two week period. Since the first period is from September 27, 2020 to October 10, 2020, the earliest you could apply for CRB is Monday October 12th.
You need to reapply for CRB every two week period that you’re out of work or you worked less. Although there’s a total of 26 periods, the most you can apply for are 13. These periods do not need to be taken consecutively.
You can check how many periods you’ve received the CRB via your CRA My Account under “COVID-19 Support Payment Application Details”.
How to apply for CRB?
You apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit online through your CRA My Account. If you were on CERB, you do not automatically qualify for the CRB. You still need to apply after every 2-week period.
Payouts happen in about 3-5 business days, but you need to have your direct deposit information set up. If you prefer a cheque mailed to you, it could take 9-12 business days before it arrives.
In the event that your info needs to be validated, it could take up to 4 weeks before you get paid.
Every time you reapply for the CRB, you need to pass the eligibility requirements again. If you find a new job, you may no longer qualify for the CRB. Remember, earning an income won’t hurt you. You only need to make repayments if you earn $38,000 or more (excluding CRB payments). However, the $38,00 does include income earned from other government programs including CERB, CRCB and CRSB.
How to return CRB?
It is possible to receive the Canada Recovery Benefit even if you don’t qualify since it’s technically an honour system. You need to return the CRB to the Canada Revenue Agency if you meet one of the following conditions:
- You applied for the CRB when you weren’t eligible
- You got the payment by mistake
- You received one of the following payments during the same eligibility periods
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
- short-term disability benefits
- workers’ compensation benefits
- Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
- Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
- You made a fraudulent claim
If you received a CRB payment when you weren’t eligible in 2020, you should return it by December 31, 2020.
You repay the CRB through online banking or mailing a physical cheque. If you received a cheque for your CRB payment and you haven’t cashed it yet, you can mail it back.
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is a way to help Canadians pay their bills while dealing with a global pandemic. While it may be tempting to just stay at home and collect your pay, the program is designed to encourage you to find work.