May 6, 2020

[Ep. 239] Financial Relief for Canadians with Preet Banerjee

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I’m Jessica and I’m a money expert, speaker, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada®, host of the More Money Podcast, and am currently writing my first book with HarperCollins Canada (2025).
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Many Canadians are feeling the financial effects of the pandemic and as a response the federal government as launched several financial relief programs to help out. To explain what the different programs are and how eligibility works, I’ve got personal finance expert and author Preet Banerjee finally back on the show! If you’re a longtime listener of the Mo’ Money Podcast, then you’ll remember that Preet was one of my first ever guests on episode 17 in which he talked about his book Stop Over-Thinking Your Money, and made sure I got life insurance and a will after our recording (it works because I did!).

To break down some of what we talked about in the episode, here are some key things to know about each financial relief program currently available.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This was the first program to come out in response to COVID-19, and it’s evolved quite a bit since it first came out in early April. Essentially, it’s a benefit to provide financial relief to Canadians who have stopped working because of COVID-19. It will provide you with $2,000/month of taxable income for up to 4 months.
In order to be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.

For more info and to find out if you’re eligible, here are some helpful resources:

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

This benefit isn’t currently available to apply to, but should be sometime in May. The details are still be firmed up, but right now this benefit is is to provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for CERB or EI, or are unable to work due to COVID-19. The benefit will provide $1,250/month for eligible students or $2,000/month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. This benefit will be available from May to August 2020. More details to come.

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

This benefit also isn’t currently available, but will be sometime in May. This benefit is to help small businesses by lowering rent by 75% if they’ve been affected by COVD-19. This program will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of 3 monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June. More details to come.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

This benefit supports employers affected by COVID-19 and to protect jobs Canadians depend on. The subsidy generally covers 75% of an employee’s wages, up to $847 per week, for employers of all sizes and across all sectors who have suffered a drop in gross revenues of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May. This program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020. Eligible employers are entitled to receive a 100% refund for certain employer contributions to Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay.

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Preet Banerjee is a personal finance expert, keynote speaker, consultant, and author of Stop Over-thinking Your Money. Make sure to follow him below!

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