As proposed by Bill C-2, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) would be extended by 28 weeks. This would result in the CRSB being in effect from September 27, 2020 to May 7, 2022, with the current extension beginning on October 24, 2021. As well, beginning the week of November 21, 2021, the number of weeks for which workers could claim the CRSB over the course of the program would increase from 4 to 6 weeks.
The CRSB provides a $500 taxable benefit to workers who miss at least 50% of their usual weekly time spent working due to having COVID-19, self-isolating due to COVID-19, or having a medical condition that would make the worker more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Workers must have earned not less than $5,000 in the 2019, 2020 or 2021 calendar years or in the 12-month period before they claim the CRSB. They must not be collecting certain other types of government benefits while they are collecting the CRSB.
PBO estimates the net cost to extend the length of the CRSB program and to increase the number of claimable weeks per worker to be $507 million.