COVID-19: Government Benefits and Subsidies for Individuals and Businesses

(Updated: September 30, 2020)

BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS/EMPLOYEES

What?How much?How long?Who is eligible?
EI Benefits for self-quarantine /illness/child-care reasons
(temporary changes effective September 27, 2020)
Minimum: $500/weekAt least 26 weeks of regular benefitsYou must:
  • have been employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
  • if you have received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  • have stopped working through no fault of your own
  • have not quit your job voluntarily
  • be temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits)
EI “regular” benefits if laid off
(temporary changes effective September 27, 2020)
Minimum: $500/weekAt least 26 weeks of regular benefitsYou must:
  • have been employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks
  • if you have received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended
  • not have stopped working through no fault of your own
  • not have quit your job voluntarily
  • be ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits)
Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
For workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI
$500/week
(pending the passage of legislation)
Up to 26 weeks.
Effective for 1 year after September 27, 2020
You must:
  • not be eligible for EI
  • reside in Canada
  • be 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 of at least 50% in your employment/self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19
  • have had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020
  • not have quit your job voluntarily
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CSRB)
For workers who cannot work because they are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.
$500/week
(pending the passage of legislation)
Up to 2 weeks
Effective for 1 year after September 27, 2020
You must:
  • reside in Canada
  • be at least 15 years old and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020
  • have been unable to work for at least 50% of your normally scheduled work within a given week because of being sick or required to self-isolate for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • not be in receipt of paid leave from an employer in respect of the same week
  • not be in receipt of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the EI Emergency Response Benefit (ERB), the Canada Recovery Benefit, the Canada Recovery Caregiving 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.
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
Per household for eligible workers who cannot work because they must provide care to children or family members due to the closure of schools, day cares or care facilities.
$500/week
(pending the passage of legislation)
Up to 26 weeks per household
Effective for 1 year after September 27, 2020
You must:
  • reside in Canada
  • be at least 15 years of age and have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020
  • have been unable to work for at least 60% of your normally scheduled work within a given week because of one of the following conditions:
    • 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
      • because the caregiver who usually provides care is not available for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • 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
  • not be in in receipt of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, 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
Work-Sharing AgreementsThis is an agreement between an employee, an employer, and Service Canada. It is intended to help avoid layoffs on account of a temporary reduction in business, due to circumstances beyond the employer’s control.

The employee receives EI benefits from the government, while also receiving a reduced salary from the employer at the same time.

The amount of the reduced salary payable by the employer will vary depending on the quantum of the reduced hours. But it will be at least 40% of the regular salary (if the workers hours have been reduced by the maximum of 60%).

Minimum duration is 6 weeks and maximum duration is 76 weeks.

The mandatory 1-week waiting period is waived.

  • The employer and employee must jointly apply to Service Canada.
  • The required reduction in an employee’s scheduled hours ranges from a minimum of 10% (one half day) and a maximum of 60% (three days).

Employers across Canada can call toll-free 1-800-367-5693.

Employees across Canada can call toll-free: 1-800-206-7218

Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan (SUBP)A SUBP is set up by an employer to top up employees' employment insurance (EI) benefits during unemployment.

The maximum under a SUBP (when combined with employee’s regular weekly EI benefit rate) cannot exceed 95% of the employee’s normal weekly earnings. The EI portion of the SUBP is 55%.

The government regulations do not set a minimum or maximum number of weeks for the payments.

The plan itself is to stipulate the maximum number of weeks for which the SUB payments will be payable

The SUBP must be approved by Service Canada.

Employer should be registered with Service Canada otherwise top-up payments are deducted from the employee’s EI benefits (as they would be considered EI-insurable income).

Income Tax Payment Deferral
  • The deadline for individuals to file their income tax return has been extended to June 1, 2020. The deadline to pay taxes has been extended to September 1, 2020.
  • For self-employed individuals and their spouses, the filing deadline of June 15, 2020 is unchanged. However, the payment date including the June 15, 2020 installment payment has been extended to September 1, 2020.

BENEFITS FOR BUSINESSES/EMPLOYERS

What Benefit?How much?For How long?Who qualifies?
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)A temporary wage subsidy equivalent to up to 75% of employees’ salaries retroactive to March 15, 2020, to a maximum of $847 per week.

Note: The Government of Canada website now has a calculator to assist employers calculate their subsidy amount.

12 weeks, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

Processing of payments to the business will take an estimated 3 to 6 weeks.

It is available to employers of all sizes and across all sectors across the country, but the employee must show:
  • A drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March (compared to the previous year), and
  • 30% in April and May 2020 (compared to the previous year).

Once an employer meets the revenue decline criteria for a qualifying period, the employer is deemed to meet that same condition for the next reference period. However, employers must re-apply for the CEWS each month.

When available, the application will be through CRA’s My Business Account portal.

The government is also proposing that CEWS-eligible employers also receive a complete refund on certain employer contributions to EI, CPP, as well as the Quebec Pension Plan and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid by employers for employees who are on leave with pay.

Note: 1) If the employer does not end up meeting the eligibility requirements, it will have to repay any received amounts. 2) If the employer makes a fraudulent claim or artificially reduces their revenue to in order to qualify, there may be additional penalties.

Temporary Business Wage Subsidy10% Temporary Wage Subsidy, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.

It will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Maximum of 3 months, from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020.Eligible employers are:
  • An individual (excluding trusts), certain partnerships, non-profit organizations, registered charities, or a Canadian-controlled private corporation eligible for the small business deduction;
  • Those with existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and
  • Also pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an eligible employee.

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and this subsidy, any benefit from this subsidy reduces the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period. CEWS does not replace this subsidy.

Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)The federal government has set up the BCAP to provide $40 billion of additional assistance through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) for small and medium-sized business.

This BCAP includes a Loan Guarantee program as well as a Co-Lending Program for these businesses.

Qualifying businesses would receive incremental credit amounts of up to $6.25 million through the BCAP.

This available until June 2021.The Minister of Finance has advised that “all credit-worthy businesses with viable business models whose activities fall within the mandate of either BDC and/or EDC are eligible to benefit from BCAP.”

Interested businesses should contact their respective bank, credit union, etc.

Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)CEBA will provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover operating costs during the time period where revenues have been temporarily reduced.

No interest will apply on the amount borrowed until January 1, 2023, at which time, interest will accrue on the balance of the term loan at the rate of 5% per annum, payable monthly on the last day of each month.

Depending on the amounts being repaid by a business, it is possible for up to $10,000 of the total amount to be forgiven.

CEBA rollout has commenced.

It will be funded as a revolving line of credit until December 31, 2020.

After that date, any outstanding balance will be converted a non-revolving 5-year term loan to mature on December 31, 2025.

On that date, the balance must be paid in full.

To be eligible to apply, a business must have:
  1. Been operating as a Canadian company as of March 1, 2020
  2. Had an annual payroll of between $50,000 and $1 million
  3. Had a 15-digit Canada Revenue Agency number; and
  4. Likely not be behind on other credit/lending products

Sole proprietors who do not issue T4 slips do not qualify.

Interested businesses should contact their respective bank, credit union, etc.

Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (OCECRA) OCECRA will reduce commercial rent for small businesses by 75% through the following:
  • Providing forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of rent payable by their tenants experiencing financial hardship during April, May, June
  • The loan will be forgiven if the property owners agrees to reduce their tenants’ rent for April, May, and June by at least 75% and agrees to not evict a tenant while the rental forgiveness agreement is in place. The tenant covers the rest of the rent, up to 25%.
Available until September 30, 2020 and would cover rents from April 1 to June 30, 2020.

(Program operational in mid-May, rent alleviation retroactive to April 2020)

To qualify, the commercial tenant:
  1. Must be paying less than $50,000 per month in rent
  2. Have temporarily ceased operations OR have experienced at least 70% drop in pre-COVID revenue
  3. Can be a business, charitable organization, or a non-profit

This is a Canada-provincial collaboration and will be administered through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Details will be provided as they become available.

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)Provides $962 million in “credit” or “loan” support to assist small and medium-sized businesses with fixed operating costs.

Of the $962 million, Southern Ontario is receiving $252.4 million split as follows:

  • $213 million for businesses facing financial pressure funded through FedDev Ontario
  • $39.4 million to support rural businesses with access to capital funded through Community Futures Development Corporations (CF
Applications are open as of May 13, 2020.

There does not appear to be a time limit but rather by when funds are exhausted.

Those businesses who may require additional help to recover but have not been able to access the other support measures. In Southern Ontario, to qualify, a business must:
  1. Be a Canadian or provincially incorporated business, co-operative or an Indigenous-owned business located in southern Ontario with 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees;
  2. Be facing funding pressures with fixed operating costs as a result of COVID-19;
  3. Have been a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to continue to operate their business or resume operations; and
  4. Have already applied to other Government of Canada emergency credit relief measures for which they are eligible (including CEBA and BCAP mentioned in this chart.)

Note: Applicants will not receive RRRF assistance through both FedDev Ontario and their local CFDCs. Applicants must determine the most appropriate option for them.

Information for Applications for Southern Ontario businesses found HERE and guidelines are found HERE.

If there is significant demand, priority will be given to manufacturing, technology, and tourism sectors.

Income Tax Payment Deferral
  • Corporate tax filings a due date on or after March 18 and before June 1, 2020, the deadline for filing is extended to June 1, 2020.
  • Corporate taxes due on or after March 18 and before September 1, 2020, that payment date has been extended to September 1, 2020.
Sales Tax Remittance Deferral
  • HST payments due after February have been deferred to June 30, 2020.
WSIB Payment Deferral
  • Businesses covered by Ontario’s WSIB coverage can defer payments until August 31, 2020 without interest or penalty.
By |2020-10-05T10:08:33-04:00April 13th, 2020|Article, Article-All, Covid-19|0 Comments

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