If you were hoping to take a trip abroad and then claim one of Canada’s COVID-benefits, you may need to double-check the rules.
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) eligibility criteria just got an update and it’s no longer open to those completing mandatory isolation after overseas travel.
Sick or self-isolating due to #COVID19 or have underlying conditions that would make you more susceptible to COVID-… https://t.co/srMr7sNK8E— Canada Revenue Agency (@Canada Revenue Agency)1609431903.0
What is the CRSB?
It gives income support to Canadians who are employed and self-employed, but who are unable to work due to health concerns associated with COVID-19.
This includes people who have tested positive, as well as those who need to self-isolate after displaying symptoms.
Individuals with underlying health conditions who may be considered at-risk can also apply.
It can be claimed for a total of two weeks between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.
No. The #CanadaRecoveryBenefits are not intended for those who need to quarantine after returning from travel outsi… https://t.co/YHoAZAU9D4— Employment and Social Development Canada (@Employment and Social Development Canada)1610393100.0
What is the new eligibility criteria?
While the CRSB aims to support people who may be sick or at-risk of COVID-19, it also helps those who are in isolation or quarantine.
After this “accident of law” was discovered, federal officials announced plans to update all of the new COVID-19 benefit’s eligibility criteria, including the CRSB.
This means Canadians who have taken non-essential international trips will no longer qualify for the $500 per week payment, retroactive to January 3, 2021.
Why did it get updated?
Benefits like the CRSB aim to support those who are at home during the pandemic due to no fault of their own.
Following the discovery of the loophole, some Canadian politicians argued that taking a discretionary trip abroad is not a sufficient reason to be eligible for federal support.
Addressing the issue, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the benefit is "not there to pay for people’s post-vacation quarantine."
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough confirmed that she would propose legislation to prevent travellers from claiming money for the period they’re isolating.
This is set to include “people returning from vacation, visiting loved ones, and attending to real estate matters abroad.”