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.

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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When Will CERB End? Canada Emergency Response Benefit program details

Sign saying the end to emphasis question of when will cerb end

When will CERB end? For the over 8 million Canadians who applied for the program, this is a question of upmost importance. The Canadian economy has been hit hard by the pandemic and millions of Canadians were left without work. However in recent weeks, different areas of the country are starting to open up. And people are starting to return to work. In spite of that though, there are millions who still cannot go back to work, because they don’t have a job to go back to, and they are wondering how long their benefits will last.

When Will CERB End? The Program Structure

According to the Government of Canada’s website, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Program goes from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020. This DOES NOT mean you can collect CERB benefits for this whole time period. Instead, it means you can collect CERB benefits within this time period.

You are eligible to collect $500.00 per week for a maximum of 16 weeks within the above time period. For example if you start collecting CERB on March 15, 2020 and you went 16 consecutive weeks then your payments would end July 4, 2020. Also, these 16 weeks do not have to be consecutive as long as they all fall into the above time period for the program.

When Will CERB End? Do I Only Need to Apply Once?

The answer is yes you only need to apply once, but you have to declare your eligibility to receive payments more than once. From the Government of Canada’s website, when you are applying for CERB, you are declaring eligibility for a four week period. For example, if you applied for CERB to start on March 15, 2020, you would collect CERB payments for a 4 week period from March 15, 2020 to April 11, 2020.

If you want to keep collecting CERB beyond this date than you would have to declare your eligibility for the next 4 week period. For example, if you applied for the CERB program through CRA than you can do this either online or by phone (1-833-966-2099). If you applied for the CERB program through Service Canada, you do this by completing your EI Report Card to confirm your eligibility to receive CERB for next period.

Will There Be an Extension of the CERB program?

Ah the billion dollar question, literally. There is increased talk about extending the CERB program as many Canadians will see their CERB payments end in early July, and many within this group will still not have work. Regarding the possible costs of extending the CERB program, the recent PMO report was highlighted below:

Budget officer Yves Giroux’s report says simply extending the maximum number of weeks to 28, and extending the program through to January 2021, would cost about $57.9 billion.

You add that figure to the $43.51 billion dollars already paid out in CERB and you are looking at a figure of at least $100 billion dollars that would need to be spent. That is an enormous financial commitment from the government which would then open up a myriad of questions such as who pays for this and so on. As a result, the debate goes on.

Conclusion

When will CERB end? The current answer depends upon your circumstances. However, simply put, it ends either by you collecting the maximum 16 weeks or when you return to work. Whichever comes first. Also, the program currently ends October 3, 2020 so even if you haven’t collected your full 16 weeks by this dates, your CERB ends also.

However, as we can see from the above, this could all change and the program could be extended. But for the time being, this is the program’s parameters currently. And that is important to know, as all of us have to make big decisions regarding our life during this pandemic and subsequent economic crisis. Plan well and stay safe.

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Canada Emergency Student Benefit, What is it?

A picture of a student at university to denote that students will need the Canada Emergency Student Benefit program.

Wondering what the Canada Emergency Student Benefit is? It is an important question to answer if you are a student. As a student, you’re likely wondering how you can earn money this summer during this pandemic. On April 22, 2020, the government outlined a program to help these students in this situation.

What is the Canada Emergency Student Benefit Program?

It is a relief program proposed by the government of Canada to help post-secondary students who aren’t able to find full-time employment or cannot work due to COVID-19. Also, if they are not eligible to receive either Employment Insurance benefits (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response benefits (CERB). Many post-secondary students are not eligible for either of these programs as they have not worked enough to qualify.

How Much Do You Get and For How Long?

Students who qualify would receive $1250 per month for up to 4 months (May 2020 to August 2020). If the student has a disability or has dependents, they can receive an additional $750 per month.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit Program, Who is Eligible?

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

  • Students who are enrolled in a post-secondary education program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Students who ended their studies or graduated no earlier than December 2019.
  • High-school graduates who have applied for and will be joining post-secondary programs in the coming months.
  • Canadian students studying abroad meeting one of the above criteria.

When Can I Apply? Update!

You can apply for the program starting on May 15, 2020 at 6 am Eastern time. For more details on how to apply and inputting an online application please go to the Government of Canada’s website.

When Will I Get Paid?

The most important question of course! The Government of Canada’s website says that if CRA has your direct deposit information, your payment will take 3 business days. If not, then a cheque will take about 10 business days.

Conclusion

The Canada Emergency Student Benefits Program is a way to help the many students who cannot find employment. It helps close the gap of students who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefits Program. Hopefully the program will be up and running shortly. When we get more details, we will update this page with further information.