Ron McKinnon
Ron McKinnon
Member of Parliament for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam
COVID-19 Update | April 7, 2020
April 7, 2020

This letter was first sent as an email to our constituents. To receive regular updates from our office regarding COVID-19, sign up via the "Get Updates" tab.


Your Questions Answered

 

Dear Neighbour,

I hope you are all keeping safe and taking necessary measures to implement all public health requirements by respecting physical distancing in order to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  

My staff and I have been working hard everyday to respond to the needs and concerns of our community by calls and emails. With things changing daily, I am also focused on ensuring everyone has the most up-to-date information and that it is accessible.

COVID-19 has presented us with an unprecedented situation and calls for an unprecedented response. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit was recently announced to help those who have stopped working or face reduced due to COVID-19.

 

The application portal for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is now open! 

APPLY HERE: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

To reduce the stress on the system, due to the anticipated high volume of applicants for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, applicants should apply based on their birth month. 

NOTE: this will NOT have an impact on when you receive your benefits 

Your Questions Answered 

What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit? 

If you have lost your income as a result of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit can provide you with temporary income support. 

The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 4 months, which is equivalent to $2000 a month.

 The benefit is taxable, although tax will not be deducted at source and you will be expected to report the benefit as income when you file your income tax for the 2020 tax year. 

Who is eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?

 You are eligible if you:

After applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, how long will it take to receive it? 

Applicants will receive their Emergency Response payments in about 3 business days after applying if they signed up for direct deposit. If you haven’t, you should receive your benefit in about 10 business days

Payments will be retroactive to your eligibility date. 

What documentation do I need to provide when I apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit? 

You will need to provide: 

I’ve applied for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits, but my claim hasn’t been processed yet; do I need to reapply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit? 

No. 

If you became eligible for Employment Insurance prior to March 15th, your claim will be processed under the pre-existing Employment prior to March 15th, your claim will be processed under the pre-existing Employment Insurance rules.

If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15th or onward, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

If I am already receiving Employment Insurance regular benefits, should I reapply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit? 

No. If you are already receiving Employment Insurance benefits that started before March 15, 2020 and your benefits will end before October 3, 2020, you may then apply for the CERB if you meet the eligibility requirements, and have stopped work because of reasons related to COVID-19.

How long will the Canada Emergency Response Benefit be available?

The benefit will be available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020,

Is there a waiting period before I can apply for CERB? 

There is no waiting period for the CERB, provided that applicants meet the eligibility requirements. 

Do workers need to be laid off to be eligible for CERB? 

No. If you are still attached to a company you are still eligible to receive the CERB, provided that your hours have been reduced to zero as a result of COVID-19. You must be, or expect to be, without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period. For the subsequent period, you expect to have no employment income. 

You can also apply for the CERB if you are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits. 

Can you receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you are not a citizen or permanent resident? 

In order to be eligible, applicants must reside in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number. Workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, including temporary foreign workers and international students- may be eligible provided they meet all the other eligibility requirements.

How is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit different from the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit which were previously announced? 

This Canada Emergency Response Benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.  

Does the minimum income of $5,000 have to be earned in Canada? 

No. The income is not required to have been earned in Canada, but applicants must reside in Canada.

When will the application portal for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit be open? 

The application portal for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit is now open and can be accessed at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

Steps to complete before you apply:

1) Sign up for My Account through the CRA online at: www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html

2) Sign up for Direct Deposit

Please Note: if you already have a BC Services Card you can log into the Canada Revenue Agency's My Account with that credential and sign up for direct deposit. 

For more information, click here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus-cerb&fbclid=IwAR0A8AIObX9uLhDHHbJrX0izq1aQ4TKJmUEKstLzj-OWW8Dzo7NF41BiOJQ 

 

Important Information about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy 

 

 

What is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy? 

The Wage Subsidy will cover 75 percent of an employee’s wages for businesses of all sizes across all sectors for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This includes not-for-profits and charities and aims to prevent further job losses, encourage employers to re-hire workers laid off as a result of COVID-19. Employers of all sizes from all sectors can apply for the Wage Subsidy, provided they have experienced a minimum 30% reduction in gross revenue. 

Which employers are eligible to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy? 

Individuals, taxable corporations, partnerships consisting of eligible employers as well as non-profit organizations and registered charities 

Employers who met all other eligibility requirements and have seen a drop in their revenue of at least 30%  as a result of COVID-19 

Public bodies are not eligible to receive the Wage Subsidy. Public bodies include: municipalities and local governments, Crown corporations, public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals. When applying for the subsidy employers will be required to certify the decline in their revenue 

Calculating Revenue 

This includes business conducted in Canada, earned from arm’s-length sources. 

Revenue will be calculated using the employer’s normal accounting method, and will exclude revenues from extraordinary items and amounts on account of capital. 

Amount of Subsidy

The subsidy amount for a given employee on eligible renumeration paid between March 15 and June 6, 2020 would be the greater of: 

More information will be available in the coming days in regards to how to define pre-crisis weekly renumeration for a given employee. Employers may be eligible for a subsidy of up to 100% of the first 75% of the pre-crisis wages or salaries of current employees with the expectation that employers maintain existing employees’ pre-crisis employment earnings if possible

Eligible Periods 

Eligibility is generally determined through change in an eligible employer’s monthly revenues, year-over-year, for the calendar month in which the period began.  

The amount of wage subsidy (provided under the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan) received by the employer in a given month would be ignored for the purpose of measuring year-over-year changes in monthly revenues.

Example: if revenues in March 2020 were reduced 50% in comparison to March 2019, the employer would be eligible to claim the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy on remuneration paid between March 15 and April 11, 2020.

Note: The eligibility of employers established after February 2019 will be determined by comparing monthly revenues to a reasonable benchmark 

How to Apply

Eligible employers can apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s “My Business Account” portal as well as a web-based application 

Employers would need to keep records that demonstrate the reduction in arm’s length revenues and renumeration paid to employees. 

I will provide more details about the application process as soon as it becomes available in the coming days

Interaction with the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Employers who would not be eligible to claim the Wage Subsidy for renumeration paid to an employee in a week that falls within a 4-week period for which the employee is eligible for the CERB

Employers that are not eligible for the Wage Subsidy would still be able to furlough employees who will receive up to $2000 a month

For more information about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/04/the-canada-emergency-wage-subsidy.html

I know many members of our community have voiced their concerns about people who do not qualify for current government emergency response programs (specifically if your income has not been reduced to zero). I am passing on your comments to my government colleagues. 

During these challenging times, my priority and that of my staff remain to work hard to meet your needs and ensure your voice is heard. 

For more information follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit my website https://rmckinnon.liberal.ca/, where I will be providing up-to-date information as it becomes available.

Yours sincerely,

 

Ron McKinnon,

Member of Parliament for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam

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