August 20, 2020

Today, the Government of Canada announced an extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by a further four weeks, until September 27, 2020. Canadians whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 are now able to access up to 28 weeks of CERB benefits. Starting September 27, people who are still claiming CERB benefits will be transitioned to an enhanced Employment Insurance (EI) program which will be available to more Canadians.

For those Canadians who are not eligible for EI, but who still need government support due to the impact of COVID-19, the government is creating a new benefit called the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). The government is also creating the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19, and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) for those who are unable to work due to specific caregiving needs. These programs are also expected to be in place beginning September 27, 2020.

Details released so far about the enhancement to EI and the new programs are available here.

The CPA welcomes the extension of CERB, enhancements to EI, and the creation of new benefits to support Canadians once the CERB is phased out. While these measures will provide support for those who would typically be eligible for EI (such as self-employed and contract workers) the CPA believes changes are still needed to federal government programs, such as the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program, to enable physiotherapists and clinics to access financial supports as our communities recover. The CPA continues to press the government for changes to these programs and will provide updates as they become available.