Three women stand together outdoors. They are wearing medical masks and face the camera, holding the hands in heart shapes towards the camera.

COVID-19 Response Benefits: Explained

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) applications have opened today, April 6th. With that, we’d like to present a simplified explanation about how all benefits interact.

  • You are able to apply for CERB ($2,000 per month for 4 months) if you are an individual not currently earning employment income and have made >$5,000 over the last year.
  • Businesses that paid between $50,000 and $1MM in payroll in 2019 are able to apply for a $40,000 interest-free loan through their primary bank that will be administered as a line of credit and will convert to a term loan at the end of Dec 31, 2021. If you pay back 75% of the amount outstanding after this date before Dec 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be forgiven. Interest will be charged after Dec 31, 2022 with the balance repayable by Dec 31, 2025. Maximized, this is effectively an interest free loan with a $10,000 grant from the government. We highly recommend all eligible businesses apply.
  • Wage subsidies are available for businesses of 10% of wages paid after march 18th up to $1,325 per employee for the 4 month period, to a max total of $25,000 per business. If you qualify for this 10%, you can remove 10% of total wages paid from the amount of federal and provincial tax owing for that employee on your payroll remittance, but must remit the full amount of EI and CPP.
  • You may also qualify for a 75% wages subsidy paid to you by the government if your revenue has dropped at least 30% in march 2020 vs March 2019, and the same for April, and May. It is applied on a month by month basis, so you may only qualify for one or two of these months. If you qualify for the 75% and also the 10%, the 10% subsidy will be removed from the amount receivable from the 75%.