Caregiving, as an act, is rewarding for many individuals. We feel wholesome when we can provide support and care to the ones we love, especially in their time of need.
There are situations when you have to make certain sacrifices to take care of your loved ones. At times, you may even skip work for a few days to stay back at home and look after an ill relative.
For those who have to miss work to care for a loved one at home, the Canadian government has created the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit to make up for their missed hours at work. However, not everyone in a position to give care is eligible for this program.
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That being said, in this article, we will go over the eligibility criteria for caregiver benefit in Canada.
What is the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit?
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is a financial assistance program created by the federal government to support caregivers of children and other family members.
This temporary scheme was designed to ease the financial pressure on individuals who have to skip at least half of their regular weekly work hours to take care of their children or relatives who are at home due to reasons related to COVID-19.
You may qualify for this caregiver benefit if you have had to miss at least half of your scheduled work week to provide supervised care to your older loved one who is at home because their regular care provider is unavailable due to a COVID-19. Similarly, if your loved one shows symptoms of COVID-19 infection and you have to stay at home to take care of them, you may be eligible for the CRCB benefit.
Individuals whose application for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit receives approval are entitled to a payment of $500, albeit cut down to $450 after a 10% tax deduction. While it may take about 10 to 12 business days to receive your CRCB payment by mail, it should only take 3 to 5 days to receive payment via direct deposit.
Eligibility Criteria for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit: Who Can Apply?
As mentioned earlier, you may be eligible for Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefits if you have had to skip a minimum of half your normal weekly work hours to care for an older relative who is home due to COVID-19-related reasons. However, there are other requirements that you must fulfill to qualify for this program, and they include:
- You must be a resident of Canada. To qualify for this program, you don’t have to be a Canadian citizen or even a permanent resident, but you must at least reside in the country legally.
- You must have been present in Canada during the 1-week period you are applying for.
- You must be employed or self-employed.
- You must be at least 15 years of age.
- You must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).
- When caring for a child, they must be 11 years or younger at the time you apply.
- You must have missed at least 50% of your working hours because your child or an older relative is at home for any of the following reasons:
○ Your child is unable to go to school or daycare because it is shut due to COVID-19.
○ Your older loved one’s day service or care home is closed because of COVID-19.
○ Your older relative or child was asked by a medical practitioner to self-isolate because they tested positive for COVID-19, showed signs of COVID-19 infection, or were vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus infection.
○ Your loved one’s regular caregiver is unavailable due to reasons related to COVID-19.
- You must not have applied or received any of the following benefits for the same one-week period.
○ Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
○ Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
○ Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)
○ Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
○ Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
○ Short-term disability benefits
- In the 12 months preceding your application, you must have earned a minimum of $5,000 through the following sources:
○ Employment income (gross pay)
○ Net self-employment income (after deducting the cost of running the business)
○ Maternity or parental benefits from Employment Insurance (EI) and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits.
The following sources and benefits do not count towards the $5,000 income minimum:
○ Student loans or scholarships
○ Disability benefits
○ Family support payments
○ Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), or other pension programs
○ Old Age Security (OAS) payments
○ Payments from other COVID-19 benefits
- Only one individual in your household applied for the benefit for each work week.
- You must not have been placed on paid leave by your employer during your application period.
- You must not have been on self-isolation or in quarantine due to international travel. However, you would qualify for this benefit if you were isolated for the following reasons:
- You only just returned from a medical trip approved by a medical practitioner.
- You were a company to an individual who needed supervised care to make a medical trip approved by a medical practitioner.
- You are an essential worker who travelled for work reasons but was required to stay in quarantine upon return.
Finally, you are not required to submit any proof that you meet the requirements except the CRA specifically requests for evidence. Moreover, it is the sole responsibility of the Canada Revenue Agency to determine your eligibility for the CRCB benefits.
Knowing your eligibility status is a vital step in submitting an application for the CRCB. So, after missing more than half of your weekly work hours to care for your loved ones, you can get information about other criteria that may qualify you for the caregiver benefit from this article.