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Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit – Know Before Applying

By Debt.ca on November 18, 2021 No Comments
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Canada’s economic recovery is still mid-process. Coronavirus numbers are up and down all over the map. Many Canadians need financial help to navigate this pandemic.

The restrictions on daily life still exist. COVID-19 sickness and isolation can affect your financial health.

The Canadian government offers support during these tough times. The CRSB is one of the programs that are available to struggling Canadian workers.

What Is Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit? (CRSB)

CRSB is an “income support” for employed and self-employed individuals.

This program is for Canadian workers exposed to or infected by COVID-19. Eligible applicants will receive $500 per week. The government taxes before depositing, which means you receive $450 per CRSB payment.

Updates to the CRSB

  • The government extended this program to November 20, 2021. Soon, voting will take place to decide whether to extend to May 7, 2022.
  • The maximum number of weeks is now four instead of two. This amount will go to six weeks if the program extends again.
  • The CRA wants to confirm that you filed your 2019 and 2020 taxes. If not, you need to bring your taxes up-to-date before you apply for CRSB.

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Who Is Eligible to Apply for CRSB?

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is for those who get sick or isolate from COVID-19 and cannot work. This benefit is also for Canadians with health issues that influence virus contraction. The eligibility gets a bit more specific. You must miss at least 50% of the workweek for reasons relating to COVID-19.

Technically, there is a long list of eligibility requirements for CRSB.

  • You must not be claiming EI, QPIP, or short-term disability at the same time.
  • You must be a present resident of Canada.
  • You must be at least 15 years of age.
  • You must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • Your 2019, 2020, or past six months of income must be $5,000 or more.
  • Your 2019 and 2020 taxes are not late.

About the income requirement…

Employment income, self-employment income, and maternity/paternity benefits (EI, QPIP, etc.) will qualify toward the $5,000 minimum. Disability benefits, student funding, social assistance, pension, old age security, and pandemic support payments do not qualify. Also, you must not receive paid leave from your employer during this time.

Note: CRSB is only available for some travel-related isolation cases.

You must only travel for treatment through a medical practitioner. You can go as a caregiver for someone else. Mobile essential workers receive an exemption from quarantine requirements. These individuals can isolate by choice and apply for CRSB in the meantime.

If I Am Eligible, How Do I Claim My CRSB?

Not sure the best way to apply for CRSB?

The CRSB application is available by phone and online through your CRA account. The form includes the same list of requirements as mentioned earlier. You must check off all the boxes and confirm that your banking information is correct. You will then receive a confirmation of approval and an ETA for your payment.

Application periods start over every Monday. The website is down overnight. Early Monday morning is when you can log in and apply for pandemic support.

Payments usually come through the night leading into Thursday morning. The exact timing depends on when you submit the application and the bank you use.

How Long Does CRSB Last?

The CRSB COVID-19 support runs from September 27, 2020, to November 20, 2021. An extension to May 7, 2022, is currently on the table. Every eligible Canadian can apply for up to four one-week periods. If successful, this extension will also grant two more one-week periods.

What Does “Validation” Mean?

You might receive a message requesting validation after applying for CRSB benefits. This rejection is usually temporary. Depending on the error code number, it may be as simple as calling an agent to confirm your identity. A recent change of address or phone number may trigger this security feature.

Some requests to validate are more serious than others. You might have a red flag against you for a handful of reasons. For example, it may be because your income was too low or seems suspicious. Many pandemic benefit recipients on social assistance or disability have this issue.

The CRA withholds any pandemic support payments until validation is complete. You will receive a lump-sum payment if the review closes in your favor.

Validating your eligibility can take 4 to 12 weeks. In the meantime, apply for any other eligible periods before it is too late. You have up to 60 days after the period ends to submit an application.

How Does CRSB Impact Taxes?

CRSB payments include a 10% tax at the source. The $500 payment becomes $450 once it hits your bank account. Canadians at lower income levels often receive larger tax refunds.

The reason is that your income taxes paid are higher. The taxed amount does not feel “realized” since it comes from the source.

Worried about tax season? Read more on ‘COVID-19 Tax Changes’. 

The good thing is that your benefit information is in your CRA account. Many tax filing programs let you import your T4As and automatically fill in the boxes. The process is pretty stress-free. On a side note, many Canadians are finding a drop in their credit score due to COVID-19.

Conclusion

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is a short-term fix for COVID-19-affected workers. If you are eligible, take advantage of the opportunity and apply for CRSB today. The process is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. Barring a validation request, you will receive the funds in as little as three business days.

Remember that these pandemic benefits are “band-aids” for a wound that can take years to heal. Uncertain times such as these can put your family’s future at risk. Now might be the time to look into debt consolidation options to reduce the financial stress.

 

Debt.ca

Admin


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