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Covid-19 Update on Expanded Benefits

Covid-19 Update on Expanded Benefits


Dear Clients & Friends,

Today the Prime Minister announced new measures to support Canadian businesses:

  • The $40,000 interest-free loans program (the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)) criteria will be expanded to include businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million.
  • The government also intends to introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses. This program aims to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April (retroactive), May, and June. Implementation of the program will require a joint effort between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property landlord-tenant relationships. More details to follow in the coming days.

On April 15, 2020, the Federal government announced an expansion to the CERB eligibility rules so that more Canadian taxpayers qualify. The following individuals can now apply for the $2,000 monthly CERB:

  • Individuals that are earning up to $1,000 per month;
  • Seasonal workers who have exhausted their employment insurance (EI) benefits and whose regular seasonal work has not materialized due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Individuals whose EI benefits have ended and are unable to find a job or return to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic .

These changes are retroactive to March 15, 2020. Individuals now eligible for the CERB can apply either online through the CRA website, by registering for “My Account“; or you can apply by phone: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. Taxpayers will need to go through this process each month that the program is available.


Your HS & Partners Team