New Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy – What is it? (CERS details)

A for rent sign to denote the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy program for businesses and organizations.

A few days ago the federal government announced the new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to help businesses cover their rent due to the continued financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was good news to the many businesses struggling to stay afloat. What is this new program?

New Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) Replaces CERCA Program

The New Canada Emergency Program (CERS) will replace the old Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) which ended on September 26, 2020. The biggest change between the two programs was that under the old CECRA program the commercial landlords had to apply for the program for businesses that needed rent relief. And they were under no obligation to apply, often leaving tenants in a very difficult situation.

However, under the New Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Program, the government will now directly help the businesses and organizations who need relief. This means that businesses can apply to the program themselves and no longer need their landlords to apply. So what are the details of the program?

Details of Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Program (CERS)

The program so far is thin on details and even on the government’s website it says that more information will be coming soon. But from the government’s news release on October 9, 2020 and other reports, here’s what has been shared so far.  The new rent subsidy will support businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered revenue drops by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses. This will last until December 19, 2020.

In addition to the rent subsidy, there will be a top-up of 25 percent available for organizations that have been temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order.

When Will it Start? Conclusion – CERS for Business owners

There was no indication of when businesses and organizations can apply for this new program. However, when it does finally start, applicants can apply for their subsidy to start retroactively as of September 27, 2020. Once the government announces when people can apply, we will provide an update.

The new wage subsidy program is a potential relief for businesses and organizations that are struggling to survive during these unprecedented times. Hopefully, more details will become available shortly as the situation is dire for many businesses. And with COVID-19 cases on the rise again, the financial future seems more uncertain than ever. Stay safe.

When Will New COVID-19 Recovery Benefits Start? (CRB, CRSB, CRCB)

Photo to highlight when will new covid-19 benefits start.

When will new COVID-19 recovery benefits start? The government announced this week that Canadians can start applying for two of the new recovery benefits as of October 5, 2020. The two new recovery benefits are the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). The third new recovery benefit, the Canada Recovery benefit will start as of October 12, 2020. These three benefits and the new EI benefits replace the Canada Emergency Response Benefits that Canadians were receiving due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Will New COVID-19 Recovery Benefits Start? A Quick Summary of New Benefits

Here’s a quick summary of the three new benefits from the government of Canada’s website below:

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) 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. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) 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 because 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. This benefit will be paid in one-week periods.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 26 weeks for those who have stopped working and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods.

Conclusion

When will the new COVID-19 recovery benefits start? Both the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) start as of October 5, 2020. The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will start as of October 12, 2020. Hopefully these new benefits will provide further help to Canadians who are struggling due to the pandemic. Only time will tell. Stay safe everyone.

CERB Replaced by New EI, CRB, CRSB, and CRCB programs – latest details (Canada Covid Relief)

A person on a calculator to denote someone calculating their budgeting based on CERB ends and being replaced by new EI, CRB, CRSB and CRCB programs.

CERB will be replaced by a new EI program and three transitional programs CRB, CRSB, and CRCB. I wrote a previous article regarding these programs, which I’ve linked to at the bottom of the page. However, there are some slight changes to the programs since the government’s throne speech on September 23, 2020. Let’s highlight some of these details below.

CERB Replaced by New Employment Insurance Program

If you were on the Canada Emergency Response Program (CERB) when it ended September 26, 2020, you will either be transitioned to or have to apply for EI benefits if you qualify for it. For example, if you applied for CERB through Service Canada, you will automatically be set up for EI benefits if you qualify. If you applied for CERB through CRA (Canada Revenue Agency), then you will have to apply for EI benefits after September 26, 2020.

The main criteria for EI is that someone has worked at least 120 insurable hours of employment in last 52 weeks. This criteria is for both regular EI benefits and Special benefits. The rate one will receive has been increased to at least $500 per week and $300 per week for extended parental benefits for at least 26 weeks. But what options does someone have if they do not qualify for EI benefits?

CERB Replaced by New Transitional Benefits – CRB, CRSB, CRCB

Last Thursday the government tabled these three new recovery benefits in Parliament which will be debated today for ones who do not qualify for EI. These benefits are temporary as you can only apply for them up to September 25, 2021. Here’s a brief description of each below.

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) – The program is designed for those who are self employed and are not eligible for EI and still need support. The rate is $500 per week for 26 weeks. It is provided to workers who have not returned to work due to COVID-19 or seen their income drop by at least 50 percent. Those who apply for this program must be looking for work and accept work when it is reasonable to do so.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – The program provides $500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are sick or who must self-isolate due to COVID-19. The government has indicated that the goal of this program is to provide paid sick leave to all Canadians. Details such as eligibility requirements have not been given as of yet.

Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB) – The program provides $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for those who are unable to work because they need to care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools and daycares are closed. The benefit is also available for those caring for a child or family member who is sick and/or required to quarantine.

CERB Replaced by New Benefits, When Do They Start? Conclusion

Regarding the new EI program, it starts this week as some people are already transitioned into it while others can apply right now for EI benefits. However, regarding the three new temporary recovery programs, as mentioned above – the bill (C-2) for these programs will be debated today (September 28, 2020) in Parliament. Once the debates have ended, there will be a vote and if it passes, then it will be implemented. How fast it can happen is anyone’s guess but could happen fairly rapidly. So it would be good to check for updates daily. Also, because it is being debated there could possibly be some more adjustments, so look out for that also. Hopefully, things will move fast and these programs can be accessed because many still need help during these unstable times. Stay safe everyone.

You Might Also Like: When Will CERB Finally End? New End Date and Programs

Amazon grocery deals – Oatmeal cookies, Tim Horton’s coffee pods, Orville Redenbacher and more! (Pandemic pantry)

Hello everyone! Today we’re searching through Amazon for some excellent pantry stock-up items. We’re talking cereal, snacks, granola bars and much more. All of them are on sale and currently in stock at Amazon.ca. Some of them are an even better bargain if you click on Subscribe and Save – meaning you’ll be subscribing to getting your favourite foods on a regular basis; you can cancel anytime. (The bonus being that you’ll save an additional 5% or 15%)

Here are the pantry items we discovered on our Amazon hunt today…

  • Nature Valley coconut biscuits are like crunchy oatmeal cookies with a creamy coconut filling. Yum! It’s like the best of oatmeal cookies AND granola bars, all in one happy little package. Pack of 5 for $2.47 or $2.35 if you click on Subscribe & Save. These are also an excellent little treat to pack into your kids’ lunch bags for school lunches.
  • Love Timmy’s French Vanilla cappuccino? No need to wait forever in a drive thru line – you can make it at home in your Keurig machine! Lovely, sweet and creamy – a real treat. Pack of 10 Tim Horton’s French Vanilla coffee pods for $9.97. And, these K-cups are recyclable!
  • Make movie night complete with a freshly popped bag of Orville Redenbacher popcorn. Big box of 24 bags of Orville Buttery microwave popcorn for only $10.97 or only $10.42 if you click on Subscribe and Save. Orville Redenbacher is GMO-free and gluten free. (More gluten free ideas here.)
  • Yupik organic oats come in a 1 kg resealable package, making it an easy item to store in your pantry. Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast food, but you can also use it to make muffins, cookies or try baked oatmeal! (Sort of like a super healthy oatmeal cake, loaded with oats and fruit.) $6.14 for 1 kg of organic oats. Certified organic, certified kosher and sulfite free oats. (Don’t need organic oats? Quaker quick cooking oats in the 1 kg bag are on for only $2.97. A good time to stock up!)

Just some essentials – and all at a great price at Amazon – to get your Monday started off well. Having a well stocked pantry is always a good idea, but in these times it seems more prudent than ever before. Have a wonderful Monday, everyone!

This post contains affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission on sales made via those links, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting BargainBlog. 🙂

Free COVID-19 Travel Insurance Offered by Air Canada

A picture of a plan to denote Air Canada's free covid-19 travel insurance that is available for international travel.

Free COVID-19 travel insurance offered by Air Canada was in my email inbox today. It sounded interesting and I decided to take a closer look. In the email it said that if you book an international flight from now till the end of October 31, 2020, you will be eligible for this travel insurance which has been underwritten by Manulife.

So what is the purpose of this travel insurance promotion? Here’s what was said in the email, “We hope this new insurance, combined with Air Canada CleanCare+, our industry-leading biosafety measures, and our flexible change and cancellation policies, gives you peace-of-mind for your future international travel.” So what are the details of this coverage?

Free COVID-19 Travel Insurance Offered by Air Canada, Details

I clicked on the link in the email and was taken to Air Canada’s website where it had details of the travel insurance. The first thing I noticed was that the insurance would cover international travel up to April 12, 2021. It would cover emergency medical insurance and quarantine insurance due to COVID-19. This insurance is even offered to tickets booked with Aeroplan miles. What are some other requirements?

Other Eligibility Requirements

Here’s what was listed on the Air Canada’s website that was highlighted above:

-Passenger must be a Canadian resident with a valid provincial or territory government health insurance plan for the duration of the trip.

-Bookings including at least one Air Canada flight and on a new Air Canada ticket (code 014) issued between September 17, 2020 and October 31, 2020. You will qualify for coverage regardless of whether your first flight was operated by Air Canada or by one of Air Canada’s code share or interline partners so long as your booking was ticketed on Air Canada and includes at least one Air Canada flight (marketed or operated).

-Travel duration of up to 21 days.

-Travel must originate in Canada to any international destination (USA included) for which there is no Level-4 “avoid all travel” advisory in effect issued by the Canadian government at time of departure.

-There is no age restriction to be eligible for this coverage.

-Traveller must not be advised by a physician not to travel.

What Does the Free COVID-19 Insurance Cover?

Here’s what listed on the Air Canada website below:

CoverageLimit (CDN)
Medical Coverage after a COVID-19 positive test result in destinationUp to $200,000 CDN per insured
Quarantine expenses after a COVID-19 positive test result, denied entry or contact tracing in destination$150/day up to $2100 per person, or $300/day up to $4200 per family (Maximum duration of 14 days)
Emergency Air Transport to return you homeIncluded in $200,000 per insured
Repatriation due to deathUp to policy limits as outlined in the certificate of insurance
Level 3 Travel Advisory upgraded to Level 4 Travel Advisory by Canadian GovernmentUp to a combined $500 per person for: *return airfare* meals and accommodations

What’s Not Covered?

There are a few things Air Canada lists that it doesn’t cover as listed below:

-Travel booked for periods longer than 21 days (the entire trip is not eligible).

-Travel beyond April 12, 2021.

-Tickets purchased from another airline, even if that airline is a code-share partner airline of Air Canada, regardless of whether the flight is operated by Air Canada.

-Travel during your cruise dates, or any expenses related to your cruise.

-One-way tickets.

-Air Canada Vacations bookings are not eligible as they are subject to a separate complimentary COVID-19 insurance coverage and policy. More details here.

-Residents of any other country aside from Canada.

A Couple Areas of Caution regarding this new travel insurance

The insurance seems pretty good but I noticed a couple areas of caution. The first is in the travel advisory, where it says as long as the Canadian government has not deemed the place you are travelling to a level 4. However, the Canadian government has deemed all travel outside Canada a level 3 which means that we should avoid all non essential travel. What happens if the government changes the level of the place you are visiting to level 4? There is some coverage up to $500 for airfare, meals and accommodation. Is there any thing else? Also, what if this changes before you leave for your destination?

This also brings up the issue of should we even be travelling in the first place if the Canadian government says that there should not be any non essential travel. Is planning a trip to Europe for example essential? It is an interesting question for us to ponder.

The second thing to think about is the duration you are allowed. The insurance covers travel period of 21 days or less. If it is longer than 21 days, then the entire trip is not covered. This is tricky considering that many countries have a required 14 day quarantine period for people entering their country. If that is the case, your trip is essentially cut down to one week. That is a tight window. And what happens if there are delays at the airport and you are delayed for a day or two and you end up longer than 21 days? These are things to think about before making the decision that is right for you and your family.

Conclusion

The free COVID-19 travel insurance offered by Air Canada sounds interesting. However, as with anything, it is the details that matter. And so it is important to inform yourself as much as possible and weigh the pros and cons. Because at the end of the day, it is not only a trip you are considering but you are weighing the risks to your health. And that is a decision that should never be taken lightly. Stay safe everyone.

New Loans For Black Business Owners – Economic Relief From COVID-19

An open sign to denote the benefits of new loan program for black business owners.

New loans for black business owners was announced by Prime Minister Trudeau yesterday. The purpose of the loan program is to help black business owners and entrepreneurs by providing economic relief during COVID-19. The goal is to help these ones recovery and grow their businesses, and provide an economic boost. The government also feels that this is way to help curve systemic racism. So what are some of the details of the new program?

New Loans for Black Businesser Owners – Highlights

The $221-million program will receive about $93 million from the federal government over the next four years. It will receive $128 million from eight financial institutions. Here ‘s the actual breakdown from the Prime Minister’s website below:

The program will include:

-Up to $53 million to develop and implement a new National Ecosystem Fund. This will support Black led business organizations across the country. It will help Black business owners and entrepreneurs access funding and capital, mentorship, financial planning services, and business training.

-Up to $33.3 million in support through the new Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund that will provide loans of between $25,000 and $250,000 for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. The Government of Canada is also partnering with financial institutions, including RBC, BMO Financial Group, Scotiabank, CIBC, National Bank, TD, Vancity, and Alterna Savings, to make up to $128 million available in additional lending support.

-Up to $6.5 million to create and sustain a new Black Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. This Hub will collect data on the state of Black entrepreneurship in Canada and help identify Black entrepreneurs’ barriers to success as well as opportunities for growth. The Hub will be run by Black-led community and business organizations, in partnership with educational institutions.

When Will This Program be Implemented?

The Prime Minister did not announce when the new loan program for black business owners will be implemented. Also, there were no details about how one would specifically apply. And there were no details on the criteria needed to qualify for the loan. And there were no details about the interest rate, repayment etc. So we will have to wait for further announcements to get more clarification. But don’t worry, as soon as we have more details to share – share it we will!

In conclusion, for many black business owners struggling from the impact of the coronavirus, it is a nice announcement to think of additional funding options. However, they will need more details and action to benefit from this program. So we’ll wait and see for now, and update you as soon as we have more information. Stay safe everyone.

When Will CERB Finally End? New End Date and Programs

A picture to denote someone getting ready to crunch their finances based on the question will cerb finally end and the programs to come afterwards.

When will CERB finally end? That has been the million dollar question for the summer of 2020. However, now it seems the government has given a definite answer after extending the program one more time and has laid out plans for other programs to start right afterwards. Let’s look at these details.

When Will CERB Finally End? – CERB Extension and End Date

CERB or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit has been extended 4 more weeks for a total of 28 weeks. The rate is still $500.00 per week. However, the end date of CERB has changed. It is now ending as of September 26, 2020. So the window to collect a potential of 28 weeks goes from March 15, 2020 to September 26, 2020. What happens next?

When Will CERB Finally End? – New Programs Announced

The government announced that as of September 27, 2020, there will be four new programs that Canadians can apply for to help them through the financial crisis caused by COVID-19. They are a new EI program, and three new temporary benefits programs. Let’s take a look at each one these.

Restructured Employment Insurance Program

The government announced that people who are currently are on CERB and who qualify for EI benefits will be transitioned into the Employment Insurance program. This means that if you applied for CERB through Service Canada, you will automatically be set up for EI benefits. If you applied for CERB through CRA, then you would have to apply for EI. So what are the details of the EI program?

Here are some of the details from the government of Canada’s website below:

“EI will now be available to more Canadians, including those who would not have qualified for EI in the past, adding more than 400,000 people into the program.Those receiving EI will be eligible for a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits, and regular benefits will be accessible for a minimum duration of 26 weeks. “

How Many Insurable Hours Do I Need to Qualify for EI Benefits?

The Government has lowered the required insurable hours of work to qualify for EI benefits to 120 hours in the last 52 weeks or since your last Employment claim. How can they do this?

First as indicated from their website, they are going to give a person a credit of 300 insurable hours if they are applying for Regular Employment insurance benefits. If someone is applying for special benefits such as sickness or maternity benefits they will receive a credit of 480 insurable hours. So the government is giving a credit to help make up the difference so you can qualify for EI.

Second, the government has established a minimum unemployment rate for the EI program of 13.1% across Canada. What does this mean? It basically means that a person cannot collect anything less then 26 weeks of benefits. Normally, the unemployment rate used was based in the city or area you lived and the lower the rate of unemployment, the lower the minimum weeks that someone could collect.

If I Do Not Qualify for EI Benefits, Are There Other Options?

As previously indicated, if someone does not qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, the government announced three addition programs. Here they are one by one below.

Canada Recovery Benefit – This program is for self employed workers who do not qualify for employment insurance benefits and need income support and who are looking and are available for work. They can be provided with $400.00 per week up to 26 weeks.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit – The government will provide up to $500.00 per week for up to two weeks for someone who has to self isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit – This program will provide up to $500.00 per week for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible persons who have to take care of a child, family member with a disability or a dependent who cannot attend school or be at a care facility or get other care due to COVID-19.

All of these new programs start as of September 27, 2020 and all are temporary with a duration of one year. For more details on the specific eligibility requirements, please look at the government of Canada’s website.

Conclusion

CERB will finally end on September 27, 2020. At this point the government has revamped the Employment Insurance program and set up three temporary programs to help Canadians transition out of the financial crisis caused by the pandemic. The goal is to get as many Canadians back to work as possible in this time as the financial costs of having so many Canadians on CERB was immense. Will it work? Only time will tell. However, no matter how good the plans may be, everything will be dependent on how COVID-19 affects life and the economy in the fall and winter. And that is the ultimate wild card. Please stay safe.

CERB Ending Announced -Merging into EI Program

a picture of woman looking at her finances denoting how will CERB ending announced will affect her moving forward.

CERB ending was announced a few days ago by the Canadian government and that the program will be replaced by a new EI program. There were not many details given on how this transition will unfold. However, they indicated that more details will be provided by the end of August. So what do we know about this change from the announcement?

CERB Ending Announced, When Does CERB end?

From the government’s website, a person can collect a maximum of 24 weeks of CERB within the time frame of March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020. However, the new EI system will be ready in September according to the Employment Minister below:

“Speaking at a news conference later on Friday, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said the EI system is equipped to take in around four million applications at the beginning of September.”

Also, a quote from a recent CBC article indicates that those on CERB who already qualify for Employment Insurance will be moved to that program. So it seems at some point, perhaps in September, ones on CERB that quality will be shifted onto EI benefits.

What About People on CERB Who Do Not Qualify for EI?

It seems that the government will make a transitional benefit benefit for those who do not qualify for Employment Insurance. Here’s a quote from the Employment Minister about this:

“The government is promising a parallel, transitional benefit with EI-like components for those who can’t yet — and I emphasize yet,” said Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough — “get into the EI system. “

This provision seems to be temporary with the incentive to get people to qualify for Employment Insurance or back to work. However, we will have to wait for more details.

Will The Amount Payout Change with EI?

This appears to be the case as rates will be based on the Employment Insurance rate of 55% of a person’s normal weekly earnings up to a maximum of $573.00 per week. Here’s a quote from a recent article about this below:

“Benefit amounts may shrink for lower income recipients: Currently, EI regular and sickness benefits are equal to 55 per cent of one’s income to a maximum of $573 a week.”

As a result, the amount of money a lot of people receive will drop with the transition to EI. Many would have been receiving more with the $2000 per month CERB payment. Also, unlike CERB, ones on EI will have to be actively looking for work. However, it looks like the eligibility requirements will be lessened and training offered as indicated below:

“It will include access to training and the ability to work more hours without having as steep a clawback in benefit payments. 

The government is also promising to relax EI eligibility rules like the number of hours required to receive support payments. “

Conclusion, Why Announce CERB Ending Without Details?

It is a good question as the details are very thin. However, the point is that the government is giving sort of a “shot across the bow” to Canadians in that they want more Canadians back to work. This is because the government feels Canada is now in recovery mode from the virus. Here’s an excerpt from recent CBC article below:

“We believe that the CERB has served its purpose and the reason it was created is no longer the main focus of our efforts as a government to support workers,” Qualtrough said during a mid-afternoon press conference. “We are going to move on to something different.” 

And another quote from same article, “The Liberals are hoping the change prods more Canadians to either go back to work or look for a job as the economy moves into what the Bank of Canada has described as a recuperation period before a long, bumpy recovery.”

So are we in recovery from coronavirus? No one knows, as the virus is unpredictable and there is also fear of a second wave in the fall. However, the government is hoping that we are. Only time will tell.

One Time Disability Payment Canada for Covid-19

A disability sign to denote that the one time disability payment is for ones with disabilities during covid-19

Last week parliament approved the one time disability payment to Canadians with disabilities. It was part of Bill C-20 that also had the changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program. The Canadian government says that about 1.7 million with disabilities should benefit from this program. So what are some details of this program? And how do Canadians who have disabilities apply to receive this one time payment?

One Time Disability Payment, How much?

The government of Canada’s website says that about 1.7 million Canadians can receive a one time payment of up to $600.00. Of note, this one time payment is non taxable and does not have to be reported anywhere. In a nutshell it is free money to spend as the recipients see fit. The government will move forward to start paying out on this once the bill receives Royal Assent.

How to Become Eligible to Receive the Payment?

The government of Canada’s website outlines three ways a person with disabilities can become eligible for the payment. Canadians with disabilities will have to fit in one of the three criteria the government has laid out. Here they are below:

  • They are holders of a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate (eligible persons not yet in possession of such a certificate would be able to apply for one up to 60 days after Royal Assent to be considered for the one-time payment).
  • Are currently receiving Canada Pension Plan disability benefits or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefits.
  • Or are in receipt of disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.

Conclusion

The government is hoping to help one of the most vulnerable groups to cope with the additional stresses due to COVID-19 with a non-taxable one time payment. This can be spent on whatever they need, and does not need to be tracked. During these uncertain financial times, any help that can be rendered is appreciated. Will it be enough to help Canadians during COVID-19? Only time will tell.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension, New Adjustments and Details

A picture to denote person looking at finances to see if qualifies for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension changes.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy extension was passed through Bill C-20 this week. Along with the extension, there are significant changes to the program. I will try to break down these changes as clearly as possible.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has been extended until December 19, 2020. Here’s a quote from an article from CPA Canada below:

  • allow the extension of the CEWS until December 19, 2020, including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020

What does this mean? It means that the program is extended until December 19, 2020 but the details of the program only go to November 21, 2020. There are no details yet on how the last four weeks of the program will be administered at this time. So what are the newest changes?

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension Changes, Elimination of 30% Revenue Test

As of July 5, 2020, applicants for the subsidy will no longer have to have at least a 30% revenue drop to apply for the Canada Wage Subsidy. If you have any kind of revenue drop, you can apply. Many felt that the 30% drop requirement was too strict and due to that, many businesses could not apply. The hope now is that more businesses can apply for the subsidy. However, the subsidy has now changed, with the program now having two components, the base subsidy and the top up.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension Changes, Base Subsidy

As of July 5, 2020 , there will be a base wage subsidy for employers to claim for wages. For example, if your revenue drop was 50% or more then you will have a base subsidy of 60% of employees’ wage. If your revenue drop was 49% or less, then your base wage subsidy will be your percentage drop x 1.2 x employee’s wage.

However, this rate is only good for the first two 4 week periods as the rates drop off afterwards. For example, if your revenue drop was greater than 50%, your base subsidy rate in the 3rd 4 week period would drop to 50%, the next 4 week period to 40% and the next one to 20%. The same is true if your revenue extension was 49% or less. In the 3rd 4 week period, your base wage subsidy would be your percentage drop x 1.0 x employee’s wage. In the fourth period you have your percentage drop x 0.8 x employee’s wage. The 5th period you would have your percentage drop x 0.4 x employee’s wage.

Chart of Canada Wage Subsidy Extension Drop

Here’s a chart from the government’s website on the drop that I just described below:

TimingPeriod 5*:
July 5 – August 1
Period 6*: August 2 – August 29Period 7: August 30 – September 26Period 8: September 27 – October 24Period 9:
October 25 – November 21
Maximum weekly benefit per employeeUp to $677Up to $677Up to $565Up to $452Up to $226
Revenue drop     
50% and over60%60%50%40%20%
0% to 49%1.2 x revenue drop
(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% base CEWS rate)
1.2 x revenue drop
(e.g., 1.2 x 20% revenue drop = 24% base CEWS rate)
1.0 x revenue drop
(e.g., 1.0 x 20% revenue drop = 20% base CEWS rate)
0.8 x revenue drop
(e.g., 0.8 x 20% revenue drop  = 16% base CEWS rate)
0.4 x revenue drop
(e.g., 0.4 x 20% revenue drop = 8% base CEWS rate)

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension Changes, Top Up

A second part of the program is a top up available for businesses that have lost 50% or more in revenue. The top-up increases depending upon the revenue to a maximum of an additional 25% subsidy which would be added to the amount of your base subsidy. Here’s another chart from the government of Canada’s website that highlights this below:

3-month average revenue dropTop-up CEWS rateTop-up calculation = 1.25 x (3 month revenue drop – 50%)
70% and over25%1.25 x (70%-50%) = 25%
65%18.75%1.25 x (65%-50%) = 18.75%
60%12.5%1.25 x (60%-50%) = 12.5%
55%6.25%1.25 x (55%-50%) = 6.25%
50% and under0.0%1.25 x (50%-50%) = 0.0%

Canada Emergency Wages Subsidy Extension Changes, Safe Harbour Rule

What is the safe harbour rule? It is when an employer who was on the program prior to July 5, 2020 and was receiving wage subsidy for their employee(s) of 75%. For the next two periods ending August 29, 2020, they will either receive 75% of employee(s) wages or the next base rate plus top up, whichever is greater. However, after August 29th, they would be subject to the new changes fully.

Conclusion

The government’s changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy does have the potential to help more Canadian businesses. However, it is a short term solution as the program has a “weaning off process” as it pays less and less over time. So there is definitely incentive for businesses to get up and going quickly.

However, there are unknowns based on how quickly certain areas of the economy can recover from the pandemic and if there is another wave or surge. At that point all bets are off and was probably why the government did not provide details for last period going into December. As that is the great unknown. The changes are a bit complicated and will take some time to understand and hopefully more details will be provided in the days ahead.

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