Canada Recovery Benefit: Frequently Asked Questions

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is available to anyone who is residing and present in Canada for the 2 weeks for which they are applying for the CRB, and:

  • was at least 15 years of age on the first day of the period
  • has a valid social insurance number
  • had a total income of at least $5,000 for 2019, 2020 or in the 12-month period preceding the day on which they make their first application for the CRB

You can find a more detailed list of conditions on the IRCC website.

Individuals must apply after every 2-week period for which they are seeking income support, and must attest that they continue to meet the requirements.

To encourage people to work, beneficiaries may earn income from employment and/or self-employment while receiving the CRB, as long as they continue to meet the other requirements.

However, to ensure that the CRB helps those who need it most, beneficiaries will need to repay through their income tax return $0.50 of the benefit they receive, for every dollar of net income earned above an annual net income of $38,000 (excluding the amount received for the CRB), up to the total of the CRB they received in a calendar year. Amounts repaid will not be included in taxable income.

Can I receive the Canada Recovery Benefit if I’m not a citizen or a permanent resident?

Yes, as long as you are residing and present in Canada during the period for which you are claiming the benefits and meet the other eligibility criteria.

When can I access the Canada Recovery Benefit?

Unlike the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) payment is retroactive. This means you:

  • you can only apply for the CRB after the period for which you’re applying has ended, and
  • you must apply within 60 days after the period for which you’re applying has ended

How do I apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit?

The best way to apply for any of the recovery benefits is online, via My Account. However, anyone who does not have access to the Internet can apply using the CRA’s automated toll-free phone lines: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041. To obtain further information on how to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit visit the transitioning to new benefits Web page.

Can I receive more than one of the recovery benefits between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2021?

Yes, as long as you meet the applicable eligibility criteria.

However, you cannot claim more than one of the recovery benefits for a given period.

Also, you may not receive any of the recovery benefits if you are receiving Employment Insurance benefits, provincial maternity or parental benefits, or any other paid leave for the same period.

Can I access any Employment Insurance benefits while receiving the Canada Recovery Benefits?

No. You may not receive any of the recovery benefits at the same time you are receiving any Employment Insurance Benefits, provincial maternity or parental benefits, or any other paid leave.

How do I know whether to apply for Employment Insurance benefits or the Canada Recovery Benefit?

If you’ve paid Employment Insurance (EI) premiums as an employee, and have at least 120 hours of insurable employment, you are likely eligible for EI benefits and should apply.

If you don’t have the minimum number of hours needed for an EI claim, you may be eligible to receive the Canada Recovery Benefit if you meet the eligibility criteria.

I’m a seasonal worker.  Am I eligible for the Canada Recovery Benefit?

If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance but are unable to work or are working reduced hours due to COVID-19, you could be eligible to receive the Canada Recovery Benefit, as long as you meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

This includes having earned at least $5,000 from employment or self-employment in the previous calendar year, or the 12 months prior to your first application for the Canada Recovery Benefit. You must also be unable to work, or have suffered an income reduction of 50% or more due to COVID-19.

I started working late in 2019 so was not able to earn $5,000. Do I qualify for the Canada Recovery Benefit?

No. To be eligible to receive the Canada Recovery Benefit, you must have had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020, or in the 12-month period prior to your first application for the CRB.

This article contains information from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Last updated: February 25, 2021 4006472