Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is now closed. CERB was put in place to give financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19 and was available to all eligible workers including Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and foreign workers on work permits.
The government is now transitioning to new COVID-19 benefits under Employment Insurance (EI) and New Recovery Benefits, which became available September 27, 2020, and will continue to be available through September 25, 2021.
Options After CERB:
- Employment Insurance (EI):
After CERB: Transitioning to new benefits
If you do not qualify for EI:
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
- Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)
Employment Insurance Benefits and Immigration
Is This Considered Social Assistance Under IRPR?
According to Section 2 of IRPR (Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations), social assistance means:
“any benefit in the form of money, goods or services provided to or on behalf of a person by a province under a program of social assistance, including a program of social assistance designated by a province to provide for basic requirements, including food, shelter, clothing, fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements and health care not provided by public health care, including dental care and eye care.”
No: Employment Insurance and New Recover Benefits are not considered social assistance, but each person should consult with their accountant.
Family Sponsorship Eligibility
One of the key requirements of being a family sponsor is being financially sound. A person who wishes to sponsor a family member to immigrate to Canada will not be able to do so if they are “in receipt of social assistance for a reason other than disability.” If you receive social assistance, you cannot sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, children, parent or other relatives.
Some CERB recipients who have been found to be ineligible for the benefit have been encouraged to repay the CERB money they received to avoid any 2021 tax troubles. While some recipients were approved for the benefits in error due to confusion over eligibility requirements, others deliberately committed fraud to apply under the emergency relief program's "trust-but-verify approach to benefit eligibility."
How Can Ackah Law Help Your Immigration Problem?
If you have questions about your immigration application or eligibility and receiving benefits due to the COVID crisis, or other immigration issues during the coronavirus restrictions or for post-restriction business, contact Ackah Law today at (587) 602-0217 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email [email protected].