When the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) ended on October 23, 2021, it was replaced by a new pandemic benefit – Canada Workers Lockdown Benefit (CWLB).
As announced by the Deputy Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, the new Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit will provide $300 per week to eligible workers.
This program runs until May 7, 2022, and along with other associated pandemic benefits, is expected to cost $7.4 billion.
The CWLB mirrors the $300 benefit available through the CRB in its last 4 weeks and is lower than the $500 weekly payment that was initially available through the CERB and CRB.
Two current COVID-19 benefits, the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), are also expected to continue in their existing form (with some changes) until May 7, 2022.
Read on to learn about Canada’s recovery benefit extension for 2022, the CWLB, how to apply, and how much you can expect.
What is the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit?
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) replaces the CRB which ended on October 23, 2021.
It will provide income support to workers who are impacted by government-imposed temporary lockdowns.
Recent updates to this support program as announced on December 22, 2021, indicate that workers in areas where capacity-limiting restrictions of 50% or more have been imposed may also be eligible for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.
CWLB will be available until May 7, 2022, with retroactive applications to October 24, 2021.
The legislation for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit became law on December 17, 2021
Who Qualifies for the CWLB Benefit?
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit is available to workers whose work interruption is a direct result of a government-imposed public health lockdown.
Workers who are impacted by capacity-limiting restrictions of 50% or higher will also be eligible (from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022).
Workers who are ineligible for EI will be able to apply as well as those who are eligible for EI as long as they are not paid EI benefits for the same period.
CWLB will not be available to workers who are unable to work as a result of their refusal to comply with a vaccine mandate (e.g. if fired due to a workplace vaccine mandate).
In addition to the CWLB, two other income benefits will continue:
Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefits
Eligibility requirements for the CRCB are that you must:
- Be at least 15 years old
- Be resident in Canada
- Have a valid SIN
- Be unable to work at least 50% of your normal work week because you are caring for a family
- Are unable to work because you have to care for a child under 12 years of age because they are sick, self-isolating, or their school/daycare/care facility is closed due to COVID-19
- You are not applying for or receiving another benefit i.e. CRSB, EI, etc.
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit
This benefit provides income support to workers who are unable to work due to illness or the need to self-isolate because of COVID-19.
With the introduction of new benefits, it is likely that eligibility requirements may be updated in the near future.
New: Local Lockdown Program
This new support program will assist employers who are subject to capacity restrictions of 50% or more and significant reductions in revenue.
The Local Lockdown program benefit is available from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022.
How To Apply For The CWLB in 2022
You can apply for the CWLB online via CRA MyAccount. You can also apply by phone at 1-800-959-8281 or TTY at 1-800-665-0354 (Mon-Fri from 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 3pm). All times are local.
You must apply on a weekly basis if eligible e.g. your region remains under lockdown.
Areas that are currently designated (or have been designated) as COVID-19 lockdown regions include Puvirnituq, Tasiujaq, Aupaluk, Tuktoyaktuk, Akulivik, Salluit, Kuujjuaq, Kangirsuk, K’atl’odeeche, Behchokò.
Check the government’s website for an updated list of eligible locations.
If you are already set up for direct deposits, CWLB payments may take 3 to 5 business days, and up to 12 business days if you are expecting a cheque.
Here are more details about the application process.
How Much Money Will I Get From CWLB?
CWLB recipients will receive $300 per week in income support. This translates to $1,200 per month in Canada Workers Lockdown Benefits if you are eligible.
The CRCB currently pays $500 per household per week or $2,000 per month. Based on the recent updates, the maximum duration to get the CRCB is being extended by 2 weeks (from 42 to 44 weeks).
The CRSB currently pays $500 per week and $2,000 per month. You can now get CRSB for up to a maximum of 6 weeks (extended by 2 weeks).
Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit Eligibility Periods
You can apply for any eligible 1-week period for up to 60 days after that period has ended. The CWLB payment periods are:
- Period 1: October 24 – October 30, 2021
- Period 2: October 31 – November 6, 2021
- Period 3: November 7 – November 13, 2021
- Period 4: November 14 – November 20, 2021
- Period 5: November 21 – November 27, 2021
- Period 6: November 28 – December 4, 2021
- Period 7: December 5 – December 11, 2021
- Period 8: December 12 – December 18, 2021
- Period 9: December 19 – December 25, 2021
- Period 10: December 26 – January 1, 2022
- Period 11: January 2 – January 8, 2022
- Period 12: January 9 – January 15, 2022
- Period 13: January 16 – January 22, 2022
- Period 14: January 23 – January 29, 2022
- Period 15: January 30 – February 5, 2022
- Period 16: February 6 – February 12, 2022
- Period 17: February 13 – February 19, 2022
- Period 18: February 20 – February 26, 2022
- Period 19: February 27 – March 5, 2022
- Period 20: March 6 – March 12, 2022
- Period 21: March 13 – March 19, 2022
- Period 22: March 20 – March 26, 2022
- Period 23: March 27 – April 2, 2022
- Period 24: April 3 – April 9, 2022
- Period 25: April 10 – April 16, 2022
- Period 26: April 17 – April 23, 2022
- Period 27: April 24 – April 30, 2022
- Period 28: May 1 – May 7, 2022
Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit Taxation
The benefits you receive via the CWLB are included in your taxable income for the year.
A $30 tax is withheld from each weekly payment of $300, so you will only receive $270 per 1-week period. Additional taxes may be due when you file your tax return depending on your total income for the year.
Related: Tax Filing Deadline for 2022.
COVID-19 Benefits For Businesses
Business support programs will be made available through two new programs:
- Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program: This will provide wage and rent subsidy to eligible hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, and tour operators.
- Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program: This will support business that have suffered significant losses with a wage and rent subsidy of up to 50%.
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What’s your take on the CWLB? Leave it in the comments.