Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

  • To help prevent further job losses and lay-offs, the Federal government is offering a subsidy of up to 85% of gross wages paid for employers that are experiencing a drop in revenue between March 15th and November 21st.
  • The amount available to be claimed for this subsidy depends on the specific pay period it is covering (refer to the table below):
  • For periods 1 – 4, employers whose revenue has decreased a minimum of 30% (or just 15% in period 1) can apply for a subsidy of 75% of remuneration paid up to $847 per employee per week
    • For employees who earned more prior to the pandemic, employers are able to claim the amount paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week OR 75% of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever less
  • For periods 5 – 9, employers with any drop in revenue can apply for a subsidy, though the calculation is far more complex! The maximum subsidy declines through these periods as follows:
    • Periods 5 and 6: Subsidy up to 85%, max of $960 per week per employee
    • Period 7: Subsidy up to 75%, max of $847 per week per employee
    • Period 8: Subsidy up to 65%, max of $734 per week per employee
    • Period 9: Subsidy up to 45%, max of $508 per week per employee


  • All employers who apply for CEWS in periods 1 through 4 must also file form PD27 to declare additional amounts claimed under the Temporary Wage Subsidy (TWS, see below), even if no TWS was or will be claimed
  Claim period Required drop in revenue Revenue comparison period for eligibility
Period 1 March 15 – April 11 15% March 2020 over:

·      March 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 2 April 12 – May 9 30% April 2020 over:

·      April 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 3 May 10 – June 6 30% May 2020 over:

·      May 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 4 June 7 – July 4 30% June 2020 over:

·      June 2019 or

·      Average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 5 July 5 – August 1 > 0% The greater of:

·      June 2020 over June 2019,

·      July 2020 over July 2019, or

·      June or July 2020 over the average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 6 August 2 – 29 > 0% The greater of:

·      July 2020 over July 2019,

·      Aug. 2020 over Aug. 2019, or

·      July or Aug. 2020 over the average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 7 August 30 – September 26 > 0% The greater of:

·      Aug. 2020 over Aug. 2019,

·      Sep. 2020 over Sep. 2019, or

·      Aug. or Sep. 2020 over the average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 8 September 27 – October 24 > 0% The greater of:

·      Sep. 2020 over Sep. 2019,

·      Oct. 2020 over Oct. 2019, or

·      Sep. or Oct. 2020 over the average of Jan & Feb 2020

Period 9 October 25 – November 21 > 0% The greater of:

·      Oct. 2020 over Oct. 2019

·      Nov. 2020 over Nov. 2019, or

·      Oct. or Nov. 2020 over the average of Jan & Feb 2020

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

  • A reduction of up to 10% of regular payroll remittances for eligible employers between March 18th and June 19th
  • Employers withheld payroll remittances from employees like normal, but could then reduce their remittance to CRA by 10% of remuneration paid up to:
    • $1,375 for each Canadian employee over the three-month period
    • $25,000 for total per employer over the three-month period
  • All TWS claimants must file form PD27 in order to have the 10% remittance added to the employer’s CRA payroll remittance (RP) account
  • For employers who did not claim TWS by reducing payroll remittances between March 18th and June 19th, it can now be claimed retroactively using form PD27.
  • Eligible employers include sole proprietors, partnerships, NPO’s, charities and CCPC’s with an existing payroll account
  • Employers can be eligible for both the Temporary Wage Subsidy and the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy, but subsidy payments will be reduced dollar for dollar

Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • CERB is now available for those who have earned $1,000 (before taxes) or less during a 4-week period, beginning March 15, 2020.
  • Qualified applicants receive a $2,000 taxable benefit for each 4-week period.
  • CERB benefits can be claimed for up to 24 weeks between March 15 and October 3.
  • The deadline for making retroactive CERB claims is December 2nd, 2020
  • To be eligible you must:
    • Be a Canadian resident,
    • Be at least 15 years old,
    • Have earned income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of application (self-employed individuals need $5,000 of revenue)
  • Apply by:
  • We suggest setting up direct deposits to ensure you receive your money as soon as possible. Most banks allow you to set this up using online banking.
  • You will need to apply and confirm your eligibility for CERB every 4 weeks, as your situation continues.

The CERB Questions and Answers page is an excellent resource for more detailed information

Employment Insurance

  • A Record of Employment (ROE) should be filed for each employee who is laid off or takes unpaid sick leave as a result of Covid-19
  • ROE’s can be filed online. Employers are encouraged to sign up for ROE Web immediately, as it can take 7 – 10 days to verify your account
  • Paper copies of ROE’s can also be requested but may take longer to arrive by post
  • Filling out the ROE – Applicable codes for ‘Reason for Issuing this ROE’:
    • A: Shortage of work (if you have had to shut your doors or reduce staff)
    • D: Illness or injury (if employee is isolating because of symptoms of Covid-19 or recent travel to a foreign country)


  • Canadians who have lost their job due to Covid-19 should continue to apply for EI
  • Those who applied for EI after March 14, 2020 will have their claim processed through CERB automatically
  • EI applicants transferred into the CERB program will receive $500 per week, regardless of how much they would have otherwise received through EI
  • This “bump” up or down to the CERB benefit rate will happen automatically

Canada Emergency Business Account

  • A loan to qualifying businesses of up to $40,000 available through most financial institutions, backed by the Federal Government, with the following unique terms:
    • 0% interest in year 1
    • Forgiveness of the final $10,000 of principal IF a minimum of $30,000 has been repaid by December 31, 2022.
  • To qualify for this loan, businesses must either:
    • Be operating in Canada with an existing payroll account, and have 2019 gross payroll between $20,000 and $1,500,000


  • Have a business bank account with a participating financial institution,
  • Have a CRA business account number,
  • Have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, and
  • Have eligible non-deferable expenses between $40,000 and $1,500,000.

We encourage all who think they might qualify to contact their bankers for further details

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Businesses

  • A subsidy applied for by property owners who have agreed to reduce the rent of eligible tenants by a minimum of 75% for April through June, 2020
  • Property owners can apply online to have up to 50% of this covered through the CMHC
  • Eligible tenants are those who:
    • Run a small business with no more than $20 million in annual gross revenues,
    • Have experienced a reduction in gross revenues of at least 70%, and
    • Use the rented area for retail, industrial, or office space
  • For those who qualified for the April – June months, you now have the option to extend the assistance through July and August

Support for Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by Covid-19

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

For students and new graduates who are not otherwise eligible for CERB or EI, and have not been able to earn over $1000 per month due to Covid-19.  Details include:

  • $1,250 per month for eligible students, or
  • $2,000 per month for eligible students with disabilities or dependents
  • Covers May to August 2020 (final applications must be submitted by September 30th)
  • Eligible students include those:
    • Who were enrolled in an eligible post-secondary program,
    • had completed a program in December 2019 or later, or
    • have applied for a program that starts before February 1, 2021
  • Those who qualify will need to show they have actively looked for work through each claim period.

BC Financial Support in Response to Covid-19

B.C Emergency Benefit for Workers
  • A one-time, tax-free, $1,000 payment for B.C residents who have lost income due to Covid-19
  • To be eligible you must:
    • Have been a resident of BC on March 15, 2020
    • Have been approved for CERB
    • Be at least 15 years old
    • Have not been receiving provincial income assistance or disability
  • To apply you will need your social insurance number and direct deposit information
  • Apply online or by telephone at 1-855-955-3545 (outside of BC: 1-778-309-4630)
BC Rent Supplement
  • Between $300 and $500 per month for low-to-moderate income renters for rent paid from April through August, 2020
  • Tenants can apply online through org
  • The application deadline is August 31, 2020
  • Benefit is paid directly to landlords to supplement the tenants monthly rent
  • To be eligible you must:
    • Have a 2019 grosshousehold income of less than:
      • $74,150 for singles and couples without dependents
      • $113,040 for households with dependents
    • As a result of COVID-19:
      • Be receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance; or
      • Be receiving or eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit offered by the federal government; or
      • Have experienced, and be able to provide evidence of, a drop of 25% or more in monthly household employment income
    • Be paying more than 30% of current household income towards rent
Covid-19 Updates: Provincial Tax and Revenue

B.C has extended filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until Sept 30, 2020

  • Employment Health Tax
  • PST
  • Carbon Tax
  • Motor fuel tax
  • Tobacco Tax

These emergency relief programs are being updated regularly.  Be sure to check BC’s What’s New page for the latest information.

BC Hydro Covid-19 Relief Fund

This program has now closed, and applications are no longer being accepted.  BC Hydro had been offering a credit of up to 3x an individual’s average monthly electricity bill to customers impacted by Covid-19.