The eligibility periods for several personal income replacement COVID-19 benefits have been extended:

  • the previous limit of 26 weeks for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB) will be extended by 12 weeks to 38 weeks;
  • the previous limit of two weeks for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will be extended to four weeks; and
  • the normal limit of 26 weeks for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits will be extended by 24 weeks to 50 weeks.

In the absence of these extensions, individuals who transitioned to CRB or EI on September 27, 2020 could have reached the maximum claim period as early as March 27, 2021. In addition, self-employed workers who have opted in to the EI program to access special benefits will be able to use a 2020 earnings threshold of $5,000 compared to the previous threshold of $7,555. This change will be retroactive to claims as of January 3, 2021 and will apply until September 25, 2021.

More weeks of COVID-19 income support are now available. Make sure to file your 2020 personal tax returns to reduce the chance of interruptions in benefit receipt.

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