If you’re currently struggling with your finances more than you ever have, rest assured that you could be eligible for Canadian government benefits. Whether your finances took a hit because of Covid, because of a disability, or simply because of low income, you might have the option of applying for these benefits so that you no longer have to struggle to make ends meet.
Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)
If your income has been affected by Covid-19 lockdowns, then you might be elibigle for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit. The CWLB offers support for those who found themselves temporarily without a job because of lockdowns. The benefit is administered by the CRA and can provide with with 270$ (after taxes) per week of missed work. You must apply for it on a weekly basis.
If you found yourself in this position but have only recently found out about the CWLB, you can still apply. The CWLB can be administered for up to 60 days after the last day of the eligible periods have ended. In Quebec, these periods are from:
December 19th to December 25th
December 26th to January 1st
January 2nd to January 8th
January 9th to January 15th
January 16th to January 22nd
January 23rd to January 29th
Canada Workers Benefit
As opposed to helping workers affectd by the pandemic, The Canada Workers Benefit aims to help individuals and families of low income and/or with disabilites. It is claimed when filing your income tax return.
In order to be eligible for the CWB, you must be working and earning an income, be a resident of Canada throughout the year, and be 19 years of age or older on December 31st, or live with a spouse or common-law partner or child. The CWB also comprises a disability supplement for those who are elibible for the disability tax credit. Full-time students for more than 13 weeks in the year, prisoners spending 90 days or more in an institution, and those who are exempt from taxes (officers or civil servants in foreign countries) are not eligible for the CWB.
As for how much you can expect to receive from the Canada Workers Benefit, it all depends on your income as well as the province or territory in which you reside. Usually, the maximum amount for individuals is 1381$, and the maximum amount for families is 2379$. If you’d like to claim the disability supplement, the maximum amount is 713$ for both individuals and families.
Employment Insurance (EI)
For those unemployed workers who are looking for employment, or are acquiring new skills in order to receive employment, you might be eligible for Employment Insurance. There are other criteria you may meet in order to be eligible, such as having to take time off due to circumstances out of one’s control (i.e: pregnancy, caring for a critically ill individual, caring for a child, etc.). As long as you meet these criteria and have paid premiums in the last year, you can apply for EI.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
Another benefit you might be eligible for is the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), a benefit administered by the CRA that helps those who are employed, but cannot work due to sickness, self-isolation from COVID-19, or due to having an health condition that puts them at risk should they contract COVD-19. Like the CWLB, you must apply fot the Canada Recovery Benefit on a weekly basis. If you are eligible, you can receive 450$ after taxes per week for a total of 6 weeks. Be aware that the CRSB may have an impact on your taxes. Certain conditions apply.
Canada Training Credit
The Canada Training Credit (CTC) is a new refundable refundable tax credit put in place by the government of Canada for students who have paid for tuition and fees in the years 2020 onwards. Eligible individuals will have accumulated 250$ each year starting in 2019 for a maximum of 5000$. There are a few conditions for those that are eligible to claim it, such as receiving your training and education from an eligible educational institution. Apply for the Canada Training Credit the next time you file you taxes if you’re a student struggling to make ends meet due to high tuition fees!
If you’re unable to take advantage of these benefits, are living paycheck to paycheck, and you keep falling more and more into debt, contact a licensed insolvency trustee as soon as you can. The sooner your trustee helps you find a solution to your financial situation, the sooner you can get on the path towards a debt-free, financially stable life.