Canada Recovery Benefits | Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta

Canada Recovery Benefits

As the CERB begins to wind down, the Government plans to introduce a suite of three new recovery benefits to provide needed support to Canadians who continue to face financial hardship even as the economy starts to re-open. The three new benefits are:

Canada Recovery Benefit
The new Canada Recovery Benefit would be effective from September 27, 2020 for one year and would provide a benefit amount of $400 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI, mainly the self-employed and including those working in the gig economy. These individuals may still require income support if they continue to be unable to return to work due to COVID-19 or had their income reduced relative to pre-COVID-19 pandemic (attestation-based).

The benefit would be available to residents in Canada who:

  • are at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • have stopped working due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are available and looking for work; or are working and have had a reduction in their employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19;
  • are not eligible for Employment Insurance;
  • had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020; and,
  • have not quit their job voluntarily.

Workers would apply after every two-week period for which they are seeking income support and attest that they continue to meet the requirements. In order to continue to be eligible for the benefit the claimant wound need to look for and accept work when it is reasonable to do so. The benefit is taxable.

To encourage claimants to return to work, they would be able to earn income from employment and/or self-employment while receiving the benefit, as long as they continue to meet the other requirements. However, to ensure that the benefit targets those who need it most, claimants would need to repay some or all of the benefit through their income tax return if their annual net income, excluding the Canada Recovery Benefit payment, is over $38,000. In other words, claimants would need to repay $0.50 of the benefit for each dollar of their annual net income above $38,000 in the calendar year to a maximum of the amount of benefit they received.

This means that for a worker who received 10 weeks of the Canada Recovery Benefit in 2020 for a total of $4000, they would have to repay all of the benefit if their net income exceeded the threshold by $8000 (twice the benefit payment amount). In this example, the worker would have to repay the full benefit amount if their net income was greater than $46,000 (not including the Canada Recovery Benefit) in 2020.

The Government of Canada intends to introduce legislation to support the delivery of the new recovery benefits.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
The new Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit would provide $500 per week, for up to two weeks, effective September 27, 2020 for one year, for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. This new benefit would fulfil the Government of Canada’s commitment as part of the Safe Restart Agreement with provinces and territories to provide up to two weeks of sick leave to all Canadians in the context of COVID-19.

The benefit would be available to:

  • Residents in Canada who are at least 15 years of age and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • Workers employed or self-employed at the time of the application; and
  • Workers who earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020.

Workers would not be required to have a medical certificate to qualify for the benefit. Workers could not claim the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and receive other paid sick leave for the same benefit period. Workers would need to have missed a minimum of 60% of their scheduled work in the week for which they claim the benefit.

Workers would apply after the one-week period in which they are seeking income support and attest that they meet the requirements. The benefit would taxable.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit
The new Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit, would be effective from September 27, 2020 for one year, and provide $500 per week, for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible Canadians.

The closure of schools and other daycare and day program facilities to prevent the spread of COVID 19 has meant that many Canadians have been unable to work because they needed to provide care to children or support to other dependents who had to stay home. While it is anticipated that facilities will gradually re-open as the economy restarts, the Government of Canada recognizes that access may vary over time and across communities. The Government is committed to ensuring that parents and others with dependents do not need to choose between caring for them and paying the bills.

In order to be eligible for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, individuals would need to:

  • reside in Canada;
  • be at least 15 years of age on the first day of the period for which they apply for the benefit;
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number;
  • be employed or self-employed on the day immediately preceding the period for which the application is made;
  • have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020;
  • have been unable to work for at least 60% of their normally scheduled work within a given week because of one of the following conditions:
    • they must take care of a child who is under 12 years of age on the first day of the period for which the benefit is claimed:
      • because their school or daycare is closed or operates under an alternative schedule for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
      • who cannot attend school or daycare under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19; or
      • because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic; or
    • they must provide care to a family member with a disability or a dependent:
      • because their day program or care facility is closed or operates under an alternative schedule for reasons related to COVID-19;
      • who cannot attend their day program or care facility under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high risk if they contract COVID-19; or
      • because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • not be in receipt of paid leave from an employer in respect of the same week; and
  • not be in receipt of the CERB, the EI Emergency Response Benefit (ERB), the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or any EI benefits or Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits in respect of the same week.

Workers would apply after the period in which they are seeking income support and attest that they meet the requirements. Two members residing in the same household could not be in receipt of the benefit for the same period. The benefit is taxable.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would administer the Canada Recovery Benefits, and Canadians would be able to apply through the CRA.  In the coming weeks, the CRA will provide more details on how and when Canadians can get ready to apply at www.canada.ca/coronavirus.