December 30, 2021        Ottawa, Ontario       Canada Revenue Agency

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian workers, businesses and service providers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

On December 22, 2021, the Government of Canada announced that it would be expanding eligibility for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) to better support Canadian workers. Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, announced that the expanded access to CWLB is now in effect and Canadians in designated regions affected by lockdowns or qualifying capacity restrictions can apply for the benefit.  

Currently, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut are included in the list of designated lockdown regions. This list will be updated as provincial or territorial governments introduce changes to public health restrictions.

The government will continue to ensure Canadians have the support needed to deal with the impacts related to the evolving Omicron variant, while also supporting a strong economic recovery. Building on measures included in Bill C-2, the government has approved new regulations that:

  • Expand the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit to include workers in regions where provincial or territorial governments have introduced or acknowledged capacity restrictions of 50% or more. This benefit will provide $300 a week in income support to eligible workers who are directly affected by a COVID-19-related public health lockdown, and who have lost 50% or more of their income as a result. Affected Canadian workers in newly designated lockdown regions can apply for the benefit today. Payments will be retroactive to December 19, 2021. To be eligible for the CWLB, you must meet the eligibility criteria which includes, but is not limited to:
    • You earned at least $5,000 in 2020, 2021, or in the 12 months leading up to the day you apply for the benefit;
    • You filed a 2020 tax return;
    • A region where you work or provide a service is designated as a COVID-19 lockdown region during the application period;
    • A designated COVID-19 lockdown in your region resulted in one of the following during the application period:
      • you lost your job and are unemployed
      • you are self-employed but unable to continue your work
      • you are employed or self-employed but had a reduction of at least 50% in your average weekly income as compared to the previous year.
  • These updated regulations will apply from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022.

Individuals who tried to apply for the CWLB prior to noon of December 30th in regions not yet designated as eligible by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) have been asked to call the CRA at 1-800-959-8281 to speak to an agent to finalize their application.

The CRA’s top priority is to continue to ensure that access to COVID-19 benefits are simple and clear, and that benefit payments get into the hands of those who need it, as quickly as possible. The CRA will also continue to monitor for fraud and suspicious activity and implement necessary controls to protect the integrity of the programs and help ensure that only eligible Canadians are receiving benefit payments.

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