With COVID recovery comes COVID benefit programs ending – what’s no longer available?

May 13, 2022

Canadian businesses have struggled over the past two years to keep the lights on while the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in rolling lockdowns across the country. Many benefit and relief programs were introduced during this time to ensure businesses could stay afloat. The good news is the pandemic is winding down and businesses are going back to business-as-usual. But it’s important to note which programs have ended.

Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) – Ended on May 7

The CWLB was introduced to give temporary income support to employed and self-employed people who couldn’t work due to pandemic lockdowns, and only during a time of lockdown in that person’s region. Those eligible received $300 (with $30 withheld for taxes) per week and could apply for up to 60 days after their region was eligible. And since there haven’t been any public health lockdowns since mid-March, most regions are closed to retroactive applications.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – Ended on October 23, 2021

The CEWS was created for businesses experiencing a minimum of 15%-30% revenue drop to receive an employee’s wage subsidy of 75% of their wages. The CEWS lasted from March 15, 2020 and ended on October 23, 2021. As of April 22, 2022, no employer can apply for any missed pay periods.

Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) – Ended on May 7

The THRP and HHBRP took the place of the CEWS for those industries struggling to recover from the pandemic, mostly in the tourism and hospitality industry. These programs were created to subsidize employee wages and to help enable employers to re-hire workers to get back into normal operations. These programs were both active from October 24, 2021 and recently ended on May 7, 2022. Employers have until May 19, 2022 to make final claims on this benefit, so time is of the essence.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CHRP) – Ended on May 7

Similar to the THRP and HHBRP, the CHRP was created to help businesses rehire. This was available between June 6, 2021 to May 7, 2022.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – Ended on May 7

The CRSB provided income support to employed and self-employed people who were either sick or had to self-isolate because of COVID-19. It was also developed to support those who have underlying health conditions that put them at high risk of contracting COVID-19. This would result in $500 per one week period with $50 withheld for taxes, for up to 6 weeks. This program took place between September 27, 2020 and May 7, 2022. Even though this benefit has ended, people have up to July 6, 2022 to apply for the last pay period.

What can people do if they’re still suffering from COVID-19?

For individuals who are still experiencing setbacks due to COVID-19, including sickness leave, filing for Employment Insurance (EI) is available. For businesses still struggling from the pandemic, there are other programs available, such as the Jobs and Growth Fund, The Tourism Relief Fund and The Canada Community Revitalization Fund, to name a few. Additionally, financing for small businesses is available from the Business Development Bank of Canada.

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