Request new COVID-19 benefits? Why you could wait a little longer this time

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TORONTO – Additional screening measures are being implemented in hopes of eliminating anyone who requests the federal government’s three new COVID-19 benefits but is not actually eligible, a measure that comes after fears some people have tried to rip the system off before. The three new benefits – the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovering Caregiver Benefit (CRCB) and the Canada Recovering Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – will be launched later this month after the The government’s COVID-19 Response Measures Act received Royal Assent on Friday.

Nearly nine million people have received assistance through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) since March, and officials expect nearly four million people will still need of some kind of income support today.

Senior government officials have confirmed that applicants may have to wait a little longer to receive benefits because of the initial verification measures they are putting in place. Yet they say the payments will be made in accordance with the service standards of the Canada Revenue Agency.

Anyone whose request is flagged for further review may be required to submit documents to support their case. In these situations, applicants may have to wait up to four weeks for processing.

Officials are encouraging anyone claiming the new benefits to complete their 2019 tax return to reduce the chances of their claim being reported and delayed.

Officials estimate that in cases where an application is approved, it will take three to five business days for payments to be received by direct deposit and 10 to 12 business days for checks in the mail.

Earlier this year, the CRA said it had received more than 11,300 leads of cases where applicants may not have been eligible to receive funds from CERB, but still applied.

Not all of those cases were confirmed cases of fraud, but officials said the CRA investigates every tip it receives.

WHEN YOU CAN APPLY

As part of the federal government’s $ 37 billion CERB transition plan, millions of Canadians who have received CERB have moved to a more flexible and accessible EI program. If they are not eligible for EI but still cannot work due to the pandemic, they may be eligible for the three new temporary benefits.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will provide $ 500 per week for up to 26 weeks for next year. Anyone who has stopped working due to COVID-19 or has seen their income drop at least 50 percent due to COVID-19 is eligible, but must not be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Workers can still earn income while receiving CRB. However, if their annual net income is more than $ 38,000, excluding the amount received for the CRB, they must reimburse the CRB through their income tax at the rate of 50 cents for every dollar over $ 38,000. .

Applicants can apply for the CRB starting October 12 through the ARC online portal or by phone, the same way the CERB was administered. Anyone planning to submit a claim is encouraged to register with the CRA’s My Account portal, ensure that their personal information is correct, and sign up for automatic deposit.

Authorities estimate that 890,000 workers will use this advantage.

The other two benefits – the Canada Recovering Carer Benefit (CRCB) and the Canada Recovering Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – will begin accepting claims on October 5.

The CRSB is a new initiative that provides $ 500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are ill or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. The benefit also covers workers affected with underlying conditions, such as those who are immunocompromised.

The benefit encourages Canadians to stay home if they are sick, may be sick or have been found to be at greater risk if they contract COVID-19.

The CRSB is expected to be the most popular of the new measures, with 4.9 million Canadians expected to apply.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he had pressured the Liberal government to expand its sick leave benefit scheme, saying that it would mean millions of people would be eligible for the benefit instead. than thousands under the previous regime.

Senior government officials said the previous plan would have covered around 500,000 fewer people, or 4.4 million. The change is attributed to the fact that those with pre-existing conditions are now eligible.

Those who are unable to work because they have to care for a child under 12 or a family member because schools and daycares are closed are entitled to CRCB, a benefit of up to ‘at $ 500 per week for 26 weeks per household.

The benefit is also available for those caring for a child or a family member who is ill and / or needs to be quarantined.

However, the definition of “family member” will be considered broadly, senior officials said. 720,000 Canadians are expected to turn to the BCRC.

As with the CERB, people who receive benefits but who are deemed ineligible will be required to reimburse the amounts received. In addition, these new benefits are also taxable.

Canadians will be able to apply for the three new benefits from the CRA until September 25, 2021.

THE TRANSITION TO EI

Canadians who collected CERBs through Service Canada and who are eligible for EI were automatically transferred to the new program after the end of last weekend.

However, those who received the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency will need to apply for Employment Insurance, which is administered by Service Canada.

One of the biggest differences between CERB and EI is that claimants will have to self-report their employment status and apply every two weeks in order to continue receiving child support.

With files from Jackie Dunham of CTVNews.ca et Rachel Gilmore

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