As the world grapples with the impact of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant and Canadians face new rounds of public health measures, the federal government has announced the extension of support programs along with new pandemic aid for both individuals and businesses.
- The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, extended to May 7, 2022, provides $500 per week to eligible applicants who are unable to work because they are caring for a child under 12 years old or a family member that requires supervised care. The length of time that this benefit can be claimed has also been increased from 42 weeks to 44 weeks.
- The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, extended to May 7, 2022, provides $500 per week to eligible applicants who are unable to work because they are sick or self-isolating due to COVID-19, or have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. The maximum length of time that this benefit can be claimed has also been increased from 4 weeks to 6 weeks.
- Applications for both programs are being accepted retroactively beginning from November 21, 2021. If required, both programs may be extended until July 2, 2022.
- The Canada Recovery Hiring Program, extended until May 7, 2022, is subsidizing increased payroll expenses up to 50% for employers who have hired new employees or raised employees' wages or hours, and have experienced revenue losses more than 10 per cent.
- In 2021, the federal government introduced the flat rate method for deducting home office expenses when filing taxes, allowing those working from home to claim up to $400. Taxpayers will again be able to claim home office expenses in the upcoming tax season using this method and the limit has been increased to $500.
- Businesses ordered to close due to temporary government-imposed lockdowns will be able to access financial support through the Local Lockdown Program, making them eligible for the maximum amounts through the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (regardless of sector).
- $742.4 million has been committed to provide one-time payments to more than 200,000 low-income seniors who experienced drops in their Guaranteed Income Supplement after receiving support through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) in 2020.
For further details on any of the above, please see the links below: