Canada 240,000 people apply for new COVID-19 benefit on 1st day despite technical glitches
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Slightly less than a quarter of a million Canadians applied for the Canada recovery benefit on the first day applications opened despite some experiencing technical difficulties.
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The Canada Revenue Agency received over 240,640 applications for the new benefit on Monday, spokesperson Janick Cormier told CBC.
The new benefit will pay $500 per week for up to 26 weeks and is open to those who don't don't qualify for employment insurance (EI) because they never paid into it or don't have enough hours.
It's part of a suite of new benefits meant to replace the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) as the government seeks to transition people to an EI program with expanded eligibility or to one of the three new benefits.
Some people Monday morning reported experiencing technical glitches as they sought to apply for the financial assistance, although a CRA spokesperson told CBC News the technical issues were resolved just before 12:30 p.m. ET.
Technical glitches briefly mar first day of applications for Canada Recovery Benefit
Canadians seeking to access new financial support after missing work because of COVID-19 appeared to briefly run into technical glitches as applications opened for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) on Monday. Applications for the new benefit, which will pay $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, can be made through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The benefit is open to those who don't qualify for EI because they never paid into it or don't haveApplications for the new benefit, which will pay $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, can be made through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The benefit is open to those who don't qualify for EI because they never paid into it or don't have enough hours.
The Canada recovery benefit comes into effect as concerns rise about increasing job losses with Ontario and Quebec imposing targeted restrictions on restaurants, bars, fitness centres and other businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
In a technical briefing delivered prior to applications opening, officials from Employment and Social Development Canada said they expect 890,000 workers to collect the Canada recovery benefit in the coming weeks and months.
The CERB, which is now discontinued, has paid out $81.64 billion to 8.9 million people, according to the government's most recent figures.
New caregiver, sickness benefits
Another 107,153 people have applied for the new Canada recovery caregiving benefit (CRCB) and 58,659 applied for the Canada recovery sickness benefit (CRSB) since applications opened for both on Oct. 5, Cormier said.
The caregiver benefit applies to people who miss work because they must care for a child under the age of 12 due to school or daycare closures, or because the child or family members are required to quarantine because they have contracted the virus or may have been exposed.
240,000 Canadians applied for new coronavirus benefit on 1st day, Trudeau says
More than 240,000 Canadians applied for a new federal coronavirus relief program that kicked off Monday, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. © THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference as he visits the Public Health Agency of Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, July 31, 2020. Speaking at a media conference on Tuesday, Trudeau gave an update about the program, called the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), which replaced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
It also applies to people forced to miss work to care for family members who need specialized care that is unavailable to them due to COVID-19.
The caregiver benefit will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for workers who are unable to work for at least 50 per cent of the week.
The federal government anticipates 700,000 Canadian households will apply for the caregiver benefit.
The government has also created a new sick-leave benefit that pays up to $1,000 over two weeks to people who can't work because they contracted COVID-19 or must self-isolate because of the virus.
The multibillion-dollar suite of new benefits are taking effect following an acrimonious political battle in Parliament that ultimately saw all parties vote in favour of them but not before the airing of widespread concern that the Liberal government was rushing them through.
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