div id=””> The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says it will update the wording of a question on its online application for the Canadian Collection Benefit (CEP).The move comes after Global News said the wording is confusing some unemployed Canadians who have exhausted their Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.
“People who currently cannot find a job due to COVID-19 and who meet the requirements can apply for the Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB). The CRB, similar to the EI program, requires claimants to be available and looking for work and they must accept work when it is reasonable to do so, ”the CRA said by email.
But one of the questions in the agency’s online benefit application raised questions as to whether applicants must have lost their jobs – as opposed to not being able to find a job – for reasons related to employment. COVID-19.
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When Peter Loranger, an unemployed forklift operator in London, Ont., Logged into his My Account page with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), said he was puzzled by the question.
The system prompted Loranger to choose the option that best described his situation during the period of his claim. The choices were “you stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19” or “you had a reduction of at least 50% of your employment income or your self-employment income for reasons related to COVID -19. ”
The problem is that Loranger, who has exhausted all of his EI benefits, believes none of the descriptions reflect his situation. This is because he lost his job before the pandemic.
“In my situation, the reason I don’t work is that I can’t find a job; and it’s 100% linked to COVID-19, ”Loranger wrote in an email to Global News. But, he adds, “It’s clear that I haven’t ‘stopped working’ because of COVID-19. ”
The CRA told Global News it would amend the application question “shortly” to “clear up any ambiguity applicants may have.
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The CRB pays $ 500 per week for 26 weeks, or about six months, to Canadians who cannot work or have experienced a significant drop in income due to COVID-19 and do not have access to insurance. employment.
In August, an official in the office of Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough told Global News that Canadians who were already receiving EI after the lockdown began in mid-March and who had exhausted their benefits would be able to switch to the CRB if they still couldn’t find a job thanks to COVID-19.
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Qualtrough’s office has confirmed that this continues to be the case.
“People who have exhausted their EI, who currently cannot find a job due to COVID-19 and who meet the requirements can claim the Canada Recovery Benefit,” the Qualtrough office said by email.
But several Canadians in Loranger’s predicament reached out to Global News, saying they were reluctant to apply for the CRB after reading the application online.
The expression “work stoppage” is different from the wording used in the legislation that introduced the new post-CERB benefits, which uses the words “were not employed or self-employed” for reasons related to COVID-19.
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The official CRB guidelines also differ from the wording used by the CRA. The CRB webpage on the Canada.ca website uses the wording “you were not working for reasons related to COVID-19”. There is no reference to “having stopped working”.
The CRB is one of a multi-billion dollar package of income support programs that the Liberal government has put in place to continue supporting workers after the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Along with the CRB, Ottawa has also created a Canadian Rehabilitative Care Benefit for parents caring for children who cannot attend daycare or school and a Canadian Recovery Sick Benefit for those who do not. ‘have no paid sick leave.
All three programs are expected to remain in effect until September 25, 2021.
The federal government has also temporarily strengthened the traditional employment insurance system. Anyone eligible for regular unemployment benefits will receive a minimum of $ 500 per week for at least 26 weeks and will need to have worked 120 hours to qualify, well below regular EI requirements as many Canadians have been unable to work due to the pandemic.
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