COVID-19 April 16, 2020 Update

COVID-19 April 16, 2020 Update

In this update, we discuss the recently announced expanded eligibility for the following Federal relief programs

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit; and
  • Canada Emergency Business Account.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Eligibility for the CERB has been expanded in recognition of the shortfalls in the original benefit eligibility criteria to include the following:

  • people who do not expect to receive more than $1,000 (before taxes) from employment and self-employment income for at least 14 days in a row during the prescribed 4-week payment period.
  • Income includes among others: tips you may earn while working; non-eligible dividends; honoraria (e.g. nominal amounts paid to emergency service volunteers); and royalties (e.g. paid to artists) you may receive within the four-week benefit period.
    • Pensions, student loans, and bursaries are not employment income and therefore, should not be included in the $1000.
    • seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
    • workers who received regular EI benefits for at least 1 week since December 29, 2019, and are no longer eligible for EI benefits, and who are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

If you are now eligible for the CERB and would have been eligible for the March 15 to April 11, 2020 period, your CERB will be back-dated to March 15, 2020.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

Originally, the CEBA was restricted to businesses whose 2019 payroll was between $50,000 and $1,000,000.
Businesses and not-for-profit organizations can now apply to their primary financial institutions for a CEBA if their 2019 payroll is between $20,000 and $1,500,000.

This will significantly increase the number of businesses and not-for-profit organizations who can apply for the government-guaranteed loans of up to $40,000, which are non-interest bearing until December 31, 2022.