Are you in a position to give care? Have you ever missed work to support your loved ones? If yes, then you probably know about the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit. But, if you are unaware of this program, you are about to find out here.
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit is a program created by the Canadian government to reward individuals who have to skip work to support their loved ones at home. So, when you sit at home instead of working to provide supervised care to your loved ones, there is some form of compensation to compensate for the lost work hours.
Your family members may have to stay at home for different reasons, ranging from illness to the unavailability of regular caregivers. Fortunately, your older relatives can find 24-hour personalized care in a senior living home like Seasons Retirement, where various living and care options are offered to older adults in Canada.
In this article, we will take a look at the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit program and the important things you should know when receiving your CRCB benefits.
What is the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit?
The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is a temporary government-funded program created to provide monetary bonuses and ease the financial pressure on people who are caregivers to kids, older adults, or other relatives who need support in their homes.
This benefit is only available to individuals who had to give up at least 50% of their weekly working hours to care for family members who are at home due to reasons related to COVID-19. That being said, there are other eligibility requirements that you must meet to qualify for CRA caregiver benefits.
So, suppose an individual who is scheduled to work during the weekdays has to stay back at home – for at least half the week – to provide supervised care to an older relative because their regular care centre is shut down as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak. In that case, they may be eligible to apply for the CRCB. Likewise, if the older adult is required to stay at home because they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 infection, the caregiver may qualify for the CRCB benefits.
How to Apply for the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefits
After confirming your CRCB eligibility, you may proceed to apply for the benefit from the Monday following the end of the missed work period. There are two methods to apply for the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefits, and they include:
1. Apply online
You can apply for this caregiver benefit through your account on the CRA’s website. If you wish to hasten the payment process, try setting up a direct deposit with the Canada Revenue Agency. You will likely receive the benefit in half the usual time with direct deposit.
Typically, it takes 10 – 12 days to receive a CRCB payment by mail, while direct deposit takes 3 – 5 days.
2. Apply by phone call
You can also apply for the CRCB by placing a call to the administrator’s office at the Canada Revenue Agency. Before contacting the administrator, ensure you have all the relevant documents you will need for the application process. As in the online method, registering for direct deposit will also help expedite the payment in this procedure.
Make sure to file your tax return for the previous year, particularly if you are applying for the CRCB for the first time, avoiding delaying your application.
The Eligibility Period: How Much Will You Receive Per Period
Before tax deduction, the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit offers a payout of $500 for each household for a 1-week period. This means you are eligible to receive $500 each week you submit an application. However, after a 10% tax deduction by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you would only receive a payment of $450 per week.
Furthermore, every Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit eligibility period is for a particular week. And the CRCB doesn’t renew automatically; you must apply for each eligible period separately.
So, if your caregiving situation persists for more than a week, you can continue to apply for the benefit in the subsequent weeks. You can apply for the CRCB within 60 days after each 1-week period ends.
Each eligibility period for the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit begins on a Sunday and ends the following Saturday. But, you can only begin your application for the benefit the following Monday after the end of the 1-week period you are applying for.
For each 1 week, only one individual per household is eligible for the CRCB. People of the same household refer to individuals living as a family at the same home address. Each family can apply for this benefit for up to 44 weeks, after which their eligibility cannot be extended.
It does not matter whether you cared for or supported more than one relative during the work week or gave up work for more than 50% of the scheduled working hours; you cannot receive more than $500 for any eligible week you apply for.
Tax Deduction; How Much Will Be Withheld & Does CRCB Affect Your Tax Payment?
As mentioned earlier, the Canada Revenue Agency withholds 10% of the CRCB $500 gross amount before paying. This 10% deduction makes a $50 tax, reducing the CRCB payout to $450.
It is worth noting that this 10% tax may not be all you need to pay. After filing a personal income tax return, you may have to pay more or less, depending on your total earnings during the tax period.
When it’s time to pay taxes, you will be provided with a T4A tax information slip to see the total amount you received for all CRA-administered COVID-19 benefits. Remember to include CRCB payments when filing your personal income tax return.
Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit is a wonderful program created by the federal government. Without a doubt, the CRCB benefits will provide the needed financial assistance to individuals in positions to give care to relatives.
So, if you have to skip at least half of your work week to care for a family member or your older loved ones, the Canada caregiver benefit will give you some financial aid during the period.