New recovery benefits replace Canada Emergency Response Benefit
Photo by kate.sade on Unsplash

So long, CERB! The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has officially ended.

Those who were receiving the CERB can now apply for the new recovery benefits. These benefits are retroactive to September 27, 2020, and available until September 25, 2021.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving and Sickness Benefits

As of this Monday, October 5, 2020, the following benefits are now open for applications through the
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Here is some information on these new benefits:

  • The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
    • $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because:
      • they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19; or
      • the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.
  • The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
    •  $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because:
      •  they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions,
      • are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

Given that these benefits will be paid on a weekly basis, applicants will have to reapply each week they are eligible.

The Upcoming Canada Recovery Benefit

As of October 12, 2020, the Canada Recovery Benefit will be open for applications through the CRA. This benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week for up to 26 weeks. To be eligible, workers must have:

  • stopped working and are not eligible for EI; or 
  • had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. 

The benefit will be paid in two-week periods.  

Here are a few more facts about the current and upcoming benefits: 

  • The benefits will be paid in arrears, with workers applying after the period for which they were unable to work.
  • The recovery benefits are taxable with tax withheld at source.
  • The Canada Labour Code was also amended to ensure that federally regulated employees can have access to job-protected leave to ensure they can avail themselves of these new recovery benefits.
  • The CRA will provide an attestation-based application process similar to the one to access CERB payments.


The upcoming benefits combined seem to be quite similar to the CERB, yet offer more options in terms of ability to work – workers are now able to earn up to 50% of their income rather than the maximum of $1000/month under the CERB.