Feds unveil $37B CERB transition plan

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2020-08-22 09:30
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https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/feds-unveil-37b-cerb-transition-plan-setting-up-new-sickness-and-care-benefits-1.5072197


THREE NEW BENEFITS
In addition, the federal government is launching three new benefits meant to target specific reasons why Canadians may be out of work or in need of financial aid. These will also come into effect on Sept. 27. These benefits are also taxable, meaning the tax will be deducted from the payments.

The trio of new benefits is projected to cost $22 billion, and will be paid in arrears.

The first is being called the “Canada Recovery Benefit” and will be available for 26 weeks to workers who are self-employed, gig or contract workers, or otherwise not EI eligible but still cannot return to work.

In order to qualify for this $400-a-week program, Canadians must be looking for work and had stopped working or had their income reduced due to COVID-19. Workers will need to repay $0.50 of every dollar earned above an annual net income of $38,000 through their income tax return.

The application for this program will include links to the national job bank, as well as to career planning tools.

“We did our very best in designing the system to parallel the EI system… it's not quite the same but it's a lot closer and a lot more streamlined than the CERB was,” Qualtrough said.

A new “Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit” is being created for those who don’t already have paid sick leave through their employer, to make it easier for people to stay home from work when they are sick or have to self-isolate due to COVID-19, without worrying about their income.

This benefit will provide $500 per week, for up to two weeks, which remains the current time frame required for Coronavirus isolation. It cannot be claimed if the employee has paid sick leave through their workplace.

The federal government has previously spoken about ongoing talks with the provinces and territories to ensure that every worker in Canada who needs it can access 10 days of paid sick leave a year, a concern more important than ever to reduce the spread of the virus by making it possible for anyone who isn’t feeling well to stay home.

“Paid sick leave is an essential part of a country being able to muster an effective response to coronavirus, because only when you have sick leave can people stay home from work… We need people to stay home when they are unwell, otherwise we will have another huge outbreak,” Freeland said.

And the third new program is a “Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit” providing help in the instances where someone needs to stay home to care for a loved one such as a child under the age of 12, a family member with a disability, or a dependent because schools, daycares, or other care facilities are closed due to the pandemic, or because a medical professional has deemed them to be at high-risk of severe illness if they were to contract COVID-19.

This program offers up to 26 weeks per household, with just one adult per household able to claim the program at a time, and provides $500 a week. It can only be used when facilities are closed and not because people “prefer” to keep their loved ones at home.
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