From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has put Canadians first, providing them with the support they need to stay safe and healthy.
As part of Bill C-2, the Government of Canada introduced the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) to provide targeted income support to workers who are unable to work due to COVID-19 public health lockdowns.
On December 22, the Government of Canada announced that, on a temporary basis from December 19, 2021 to February 12, 2022, COVID-19 public health orders restricting public access to businesses by at least 50 per cent would be included under the definition of a lockdown order. That means that people who temporarily lose their jobs or have a 50 per cent or more reduction in earnings because of a designated COVID-19 lockdown in their region could be eligible for the CWLB.
How jurisdictions are designated as a “lockdown region”
Also from December 19, 2021 to February 12, 2022, provinces, territories, and Indigenous communities may issue COVID-19 public health orders and be considered by the government for designation as a “lockdown region.” However, as part of the designation process, those issued by municipalities or public health authorities need to be acknowledged by a provincial/territorial government as meeting the definition below in order to be considered for designation:
- the closure to the public, of premises where persons carry out commercial activities or provide services that are not essential to preserving life, health, public safety, or basic societal functioning; or
- restrictions reducing by at least 50% the maximum number of persons that can enter or occupy premises where persons carry out commercial activities or provide services whether essential or not essential to preserving life, health, public safety or basic societal functioning; or
- a requirement, applicable in the region specified in the order, regulation, or other instrument, that persons stay at home except for reasons that are essential to preserving life, health, public safety, or basic societal functioning
Fraud prevention and ensuring eligible applicants
To ensure those in need have rapid access to financial aid, the Government of Canada opted to use an attestation-based approach to deliver the CWLB. This means that individuals must self-declare the information they provide when they apply for the benefit. Should an individual be verified and later determined to be ineligible, despite their certification to this effect, they will have to reimburse the amounts received. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has zero tolerance for fraud and applicants can expect that their information be verified at the time of the application and/or at a later date.
The CRA will continue to monitor for fraud and suspicious activity and implement new controls to protect the integrity of the program and to help ensure that only eligible Canadians are receiving payments. The protection of the personal information of Canadians is a priority for the CRA, and the confidence and trust that individuals have in the CRA are the cornerstones of Canada’s tax system.