COVID-19 Update: Government of Canada extends the CERB and CRA provides details regarding “Period 4” of the CEWS

June 18, 2020

On June 16, 2020, the Government of Canada announced an extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by an additional 8 weeks for eligible workers. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) also provided further details on eligibility for the fourth period (from June 7, 2020 to July 4, 2020) of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

Update

The Government of Canada has taken further action to support workers and employers who remain affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CERB extension

On June 16, 2020, the Government of Canada announced an extension of the CERB eligibility period by 8 weeks. Eligible workers will now be entitled to a maximum of 24 weeks of CERB payments, at the current flat-payment benefit rate of $500 per week (an increase from the previous maximum period of 16 weeks). As a reminder, the CERB is available from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020 and applicants can apply at any time before December 2, 2020.

The Government of Canada also announced there would be changes to the attestation applicants make when applying for the CERB, in order to encourage recipients to actively seek employment. 

CEWS extension

As noted in our previous blog, on May 15, 2020 the Government of Canada announced an extension of the duration of the CEWS program to August 29, 2020, representing an additional 12 weeks.

The CRA has now confirmed that the “the eligibility criteria will apply for the current period”, which appears to confirm the eligibility criteria for period 3 (May 10, 2020 to June 6, 2020), including the 30% revenue decline threshold,

would also be applied to the current period (period 4, from June 7, 2020 to July 4, 2020). Any potential changes to the eligibility criteria would commence as of periods 5 (July 5, 2020 to August 1, 2020) and/or 6 (August 2, 2020 to August 29, 2020).

Further information about the CEWS extension will be coming soon.

These further extensions should provide welcome relief to workers who require further support and clarity for employers who remain economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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