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Nova Scotia Support

COVID-19 Federal Support


Canadian Recovery Benefit (CRB)

What is the Canada Recovery Benefit? 

The Canada Recovery Benefit gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the CRB, you must meet all the following conditions for the 2-week period you are applying for:

  • During the period you’re applying for you were not working for reasons related to Covid-19 OR you had a 50% reduction in your average weekly income compared to the previous year due to Covid-19
  • You did not apply for or receive any of the following: Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB), short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
  • You were not eligible for EI benefits
  • You reside in Canada
  • You were present in Canada
  • You are at least 15 years old
  • You have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from any of the following sources: employment income (total or gross pay), net self-employment income (after deducting expenses), maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits
  • You have not quit your job or reduced your hours voluntarily on or after September 27, 2020, unless it was reasonable to do so
  • You were seeking work during the period, either as an employee or in self-employment
  • You have not turned down reasonable work during the 2-week period you’re applying for.

How much can I receive?

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Will it have an impact on my taxes?

The 10% tax withheld at source may not be all the tax you need to pay. When you complete your personal income tax return, you may need to pay more (or less), depending on how much income you earned. You must report the CRB payments that you receive as income when you file your personal income tax return.

The CRA will provide you with a T4A tax information slip at tax time for the amount you received in CRA administered COVID-19 benefits.

What documents do I need?

You will need to provide your personal contact information, your Social Insurance Number and confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements.

You may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify your eligibility at a future date.

How to apply?

The easiest way to apply is online through CRA My Account: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-benefit/crb-how-apply.html

CRB applications open on October 12, 2020.

The CRB does not renew automatically. To keep getting your payments, you must re-apply after each period, up to a maximum of 13 periods.

To confirm the number of periods you have already received the CRB, you can review your application history in CRA My Account, under “COVID-19 Support Payment Application Details”.

You must continue to meet all the CRB eligibility criteria to keep receiving the benefit. Check that you are still eligible every time you re-apply.

The CRB gives support to those who are unable to work or have reduced income due to COVID-19. You must be looking for work to be eligible.


Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

What is the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit? 

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they're sick or need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of getting COVID-19. The CRSB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the CRSB, you must meet all the following conditions for the 1-week period you are applying for:

  • You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you’re self-isolating for one of the following reasons: you are sick with COVID-19 or may have COVID-19, OR you are advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19, OR you have an underlying health condition that puts you at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
  • You did not apply or receive any of the following for the same period: Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery caregiving Benefit (CRCB), short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, Quebec Parental Insurance (EI) benefits.
  • You reside in Canada
  • You were present in Canada
  • You are at least 15 years old
  • You have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from any of the following sources: employment income (total or gross pay), net self-employment income (after deducting expenses), maternity and parental benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits
  • You are not receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period

How much can I receive?

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides a payment of $500 (before taxes withheld) for each 1-week period you apply for. After the CRA withholds 10% tax at source, the actual payment you get is $450 per 1-week period.

Your payment amount will be the same for each period you’ve applied for, even if you worked for part of the week. To be eligible, you must have missed more than 50% of your work week.

If you’re eligible, you may apply up to a maximum of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

Will it have an impact on my taxes?

The 10% tax withheld at source may not be all the tax you need to pay. When you complete your personal income tax return, you may need to pay more (or less), depending on how much income you earned. You must still report CRSB payments you receive as income when you file your personal income tax return.

The CRA will provide you with a T4A tax information slip at tax time for the amount you received for all CRA administered COVID-19 benefits.

How eligibility periods work?

Each Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) eligibility period is a specific 1-week period. When you apply, you will receive a $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) payment for that period.

The CRSB does not renew automatically. If your situation continues, you must apply for your second eligibility period separately. You may apply for any eligible 1-week period for up to 60 days after that period has ended.

You can apply for a maximum of 2 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. The 2 weeks do not have to be taken consecutively.

If you become sick or have to self-isolate due to COVID-19-part way through a period, you can only apply for the period if you missed more than 50% of that work week. If you miss less than that, you need to wait to apply for the next eligibility period.

Each 1-week period starts on a Sunday and ends on the following Saturday. You may start applying on the first Monday after the 1-week period you’re applying for has ended.

The benefit is available between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. You can no longer receive CRSB payments after you have reached the maximum of 2 periods.

Your eligibility cannot be extended, even if you:

  • are sick or self-isolating due to COVID-19 for more than 2 periods
  • become sick or are self-isolating due to COVID-19 again between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021

What documents do I need?

If you are or were an employee, you may be asked to provide the following items:

  • Recent pay slips
  • Employment verification letter, including salary, if accessible online
  • Record of Employment
  • Bank statements showing name, address, and payroll deposit

If you are or were self-employed, you may be asked to provide the following items:

  • Invoice for services rendered that includes:
    • the service date
    • who the service was for
    • the name of the individual or company
  • Receipt of payment for services provided (a statement of account or bill of sale showing a payment and the remaining balance owed)
  • Documents showing income earned from a "trade or business" as a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or a partnership
  • Any other document that will confirm you earned $5,000 in employment or self employment income

If you receive provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or parental leave, you may be asked to provide the following items:

  • Statement of benefits
  • Bank statements showing, name, address, and benefit deposit

How to apply?

You may start applying on the first Monday after the 1-week period you’re applying for has ended. Applications do not renew automatically.

You must apply for each period separately. You may apply for any period you are eligible for that is open for application, including up to 60 days after the period has ended.


Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

What is the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit? 

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care. This applies if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or because they're sick, self-isolating, or at risk of serious health complications due to COVID-19. The CRCB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the CRCB, you must meet all the following conditions for the 1-week period you are applying for:

  • You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are caring for a family member
  • You are caring for your child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care because they are at home for one of the following reasons: their school, daycare, day program, or care facility is closed or unavailable to them due to COVID-19, or their regular care services are unavailable due to COVID-19
  • The person under your care is: sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19, or at risk of serious health complications if they get COVID-19, as advised by a medical professional, or self-isolating due to COVID-19
  • You did not apply for or receive any of the following for the same period: Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), short-term disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
  • You reside in Canada
  • You were present in Canada
  • You are least 15 years old
  • You have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from any of the following sources: employment income (total or gross pay), net self-employment income (after deducting expenses), maternity and paternal benefits from EI or similar QPIP benefits
  • You are the only person in your household applying for the benefit for the week
  • You are not receiving paid leave from your employer from the same period

How much can I receive?

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) provides a payment of $500 (before taxes withheld) per household for each 1-week period applied for. After the CRA withholds a 10% tax at source, the actual payment you get is $450 per 1-week period.

Only one eligible individual in the same household (living as a family at the same address) can apply for the benefit per week.

Each household may receive payments for a maximum of 26 weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

If you're eligible, your payment amount will be the same for each period you’ve applied for, even if:

  • you are caring for more than one family member who needs supervised care
  • you worked for less than 50% of the work week

Will it have an impact on my taxes?

The 10% tax withheld at source may not be all the tax you need to pay. When you complete your personal income tax return, you may need to pay more (or less), depending on how much income you earned. You must still report CRCB payments that you receive as income when you file your personal income tax return.

The CRA will provide you with a T4A tax information slip at tax time for the amount you received for all CRA administered COVID-19 benefits.

How eligibility periods work?

Each Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) eligibility period is a specific 1-week period. When you apply, your household will receive a $500 ($450 after taxes withheld) payment for that period.

The CRCB does not renew automatically. If your situation continues, you must apply for each period separately. You may apply for any eligible 1-week period for up to 60 days after that period has ended.

Each household can apply up to a maximum of 26 periods between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. The 26 weeks do not need to be taken consecutively.

If you started caring for a family member part way through a period, you can only apply for that period if you missed more than 50% of that work week. If you miss less than that, you need to wait to apply for the next eligibility period.

Each 1-week period starts on a Sunday and ends on the following Saturday. You may start applying on the first Monday after the 1-week period you're applying for has ended.

The benefit is available between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021. You can no longer receive CRCB payments after your household has reached the maximum of 26 periods.

Your eligibility cannot be extended, even if you need to care for the same or other family members for more than 26 weeks or if their school, regular program or facility is closed or unavailable to them again due to COVID-19.

To confirm the number of periods that you have already received the CRCB, you can review your application history in CRA My Account, under “COVID-19 Support Payment Application Details”.

What documents do I need?

If you are or were an employee, you may be asked to provide the following items:

  • Documents showing the person under your care is eligible for the benefit
  • Recent pay slips
  • Employment verification letter, including salary, if accessible online
  • Record of Employment
  • Bank statements showing name, address, and payroll deposit

If you are or were self-employed, you may be asked to provide the following items:

  • Documents showing the person under your care is eligible for the benefit
  • Invoice for services rendered that includes:
    • the service date
    • who the service was for
    • the name of the individual or company
  • Receipt of payment for services provided (a statement of account or bill of sale showing a payment and the remaining balance owed)
  • Documents showing income earned from a "trade or business" as a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or a partnership
  • Any other document that will confirm you earned $5,000 in employment or self employment income

If you receive provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or parental leave, you may be asked to provide the following items:

  • Documents showing the person under your care is eligible for the benefit
  • Statement of benefits
  • Bank statements showing, name, address, and benefit deposit

How to apply?

Online through CRA My Account: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/recovery-caregiving-benefit/crcb-how-apply.html#h-1

By phone - automated toll-free line: 1-800-959-2019 / 1-800-959-2041, Monday to Sunday 6:00am to 3:00am (Eastern time). To verify your identity, you’ll need: Social Insurance Number (SIN), postal code and date of birth.

You may start applying on the first Monday after the 1-week period you’re applying for has ended. Applications do not renew automatically.

You must apply for each period separately. You may apply for any period you are eligible for that is open for application, including up to 60 days after the period has ended.


Employment Insurance Regular Benefit

What is the Employment Insurance Regular Benefit?

Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work but can't find a job.

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help a person access EI regular benefits. The following changes will be in effect for 1 year:

  • A minimum unemployment rate of 13.1% applies to all regions across Canada starting August 9, 2020
    • If a person’s region unemployment rate is higher than 13.1%, the higher actual rate will be used to calculate the benefits
    • This means a person can receive at least 26 weeks of regular benefits
  • Only 120 insured hours are required to qualify for benefits because the recipient will get a one-time credit of 300 insured hours to help them meet the required 420 insured hours of work
  • The recipient will receive at least $500 per week before taxes but they could receive more
  • If the recipient received the CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended

Who is eligible?

The claim must be made within four weeks of your last day of work. You can apply, even if you haven’t received yet your Record of Employment (ROE). You may be entitled to EI if you:

  • were employed in insurable employment.
  • lost your job through no fault of your own.
  • have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks (in some cases, the qualifying period may be extended to a maximum of 104 weeks if you were not employed in insurable employment or if you were not receiving EI benefits. You will need between 420 and 700 hours of insurable employment based on the unemployment rate in your area during the qualifying period to qualify for regular benefits. Look up EI Economic Region by Postal Code to find out the unemployment rate in your region and the number of hours to qualify for regular benefits.) 
  • have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter

To receive any payments, you may be entitled to, you are required to complete by-weekly reports by Internet or by phone.

What documents do I need?

To complete the online EI application for EI regular benefits, you will need the following personal information:

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
  • your mother’s maiden name.
  • your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal codes.
  • your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, bank branch number, and account number.
  • names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks.
  • the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your benefit rate.
  • the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your benefit rate.

You may also have to provide the following details if you are reactivating an existing claim:

  • the salary amount you received, before deductions, for the last week you worked (from Sunday to your last day of work), including insurable tips and commissions
  • any other amount you received or will receive (such as vacation pay, severance pay, pension payments, pay in lieu of notice, and other money)

How to Apply

Would I be able to speak with an EI agent?

Yes, Service Canada EI call center phone number is: 1-800-206-7218.

Due to the extreme high volume of the calls, you could be waiting up to 3-4 hours to speak to an EI call center agent.

How long does it take to complete the online application?

It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application. The website takes you step by step through the application process and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form.

How much could you receive?

For most people, the basic rate for calculating EI benefits is 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings, up to a maximum amount. As of January 1, 2020, the maximum yearly insurable earnings amount is $54,200. This means that you can receive a maximum amount of $573 per week.

How long could you receive EI regular benefits?

You can receive EI from 14 weeks up to a maximum of 45 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate in your region at the time of filing your claim and the amount of insurable hours you have accumulated in the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is shorter.


Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit

Am I eligible?

The information below should be used as a guideline. We encourage you to apply for benefits as soon as possible and let a Service Canada agent determine if you're eligible.

You need to demonstrate that:

  • you're unable to work for medical reasons
  • your regular weekly earnings from work have decreased by more than 40% for at least one week
  • you accumulated 600 insured hours* of work in the 52 weeks before the start of your claim or since the start of your last claim, whichever is shorter

*As an example, 600 hours are equivalent to 20 weeks of work at 30 hours a week.

While you’re receiving sickness benefits, you must remain available for work if it weren’t for your medical condition.

What is the Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit?

Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit provides up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit.

As of September 27, 2020, there are some temporary changes to the EI program to help a person access EI sickness benefits. The following changes will be in effect for 1 year:

  • Only 120 insured hours are required to qualify for benefits because the recipient will get a one-time credit of 480 insured hours to help them meet the required 600 insured hours of work
  • The recipient will receive at least $500 per week before taxes but they could receive more
  • If the recipient received the CERB, the 52-week period to accumulate insured hours will be extended

What documents do I need?

You must get a medical certificate to show that you’re unable to work for medical reasons. Medical reasons include illness, injury, quarantine or any medical condition that prevents you from working.

You must obtain your Records of Employment (ROE).

You may need to provide these documents to Service Canada.

Make sure you have the following information to complete your application:

  • the names and addresses of your employers in the last 52 weeks
  • the dates you were employed with each employer and the reasons you're no longer employed with them
  • your detailed explanation of the facts if you quit or were dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks
  • your full mailing address and your home address, if they are different
  • your social insurance number (SIN)
  • your mother's maiden name
  • your banking information, including financial institution, branch (transit) number and your account number, to sign up for direct deposit

How to apply?

Online: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness/apply.html

To access information about your EI claim, you will need your SIN and access code, which you will find on the benefit statement that is mailed to you after you apply for EI benefits.

Toll-Free: 1-800-206-7218
TTY: 1-800-529-3742
The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday.

Would I be able to speak with an EI agent? 

Yes, Service Canada EI call center phone number is: 1-800-206-7218.

Due to the extreme high volume of the calls, you could be waiting up to 3-4 hours to speak to an EI call center agent.

How long does it take to complete the online application?

The online application takes about an hour to complete. Your information is saved for 72 hours (3 days) from the time you start. If you don't complete the application, you can come back to it later using a temporary password that you receive when you start your application.

If you don't complete the application within 72 hours, it will be deleted, and you'll have to start a new application.

Additional Support

Income Assistance Recipients will receive $50.00 top-up starting on March 20. The top-up is automatic and there is no need to apply.

If you have questions about eligibility for income assistance, call:

Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm - 1-877-424-1177

Monday to Friday 4:30pm to 7pm - 1-833-722-1417
Saturday 8:30am to 4:30pm
Sunday 10am to 2pm

Nova Scotia Hydro:

The following measures have been put in place to help those affected:

  • Until further notice, Nova Scotia Power will not be disconnecting power for any missed bill payments.