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Federal and Provincial Support Programs for Ontario REALTORS®

 

Federal and Provincial Support Programs for Ontario REALTORS®

The Federal and Provincial governments have released a number of programs that will assist those who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

OREA has made it a priority to ensure that all Ontario REALTORS® are aware of the programs they are eligible for to help support you and your family during this difficult time.

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide $2,000 per month, for up to 4 months, for those who have lost income as a result of COVID-19. Applications for the CERB opened on Monday, April 6, 2020.

 

Benefit Availability:

The benefit will be available retroactively from March 15, 2020 until September 26, 2020.

 

Eligibility:

CERB will provide income support to eligible workers who:

  • Have ceased working for reasons due to COVID-19;
  • Remain employed but have no income due to the COVID-19 slowdown;
  • Are sick or quarantined;
  • Are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19; or,
  • Are parents with children who require supervision due to school or daycare closures.

 

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Must reside in Canada and be at least 15 years old;
  • Must have had no income for 14 consecutive calendar days;
  • Must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day they make the application; and,
  • For those who still have income, albeit reduced, then you will not be eligible for this benefit and should apply directly for Employment Insurance (EI).

 

Payment Timing:

Individuals will receive CERB payments within 3 business days if signed up for direct deposit. If not, payments will be received within 10 days of the application.

 

How to Apply:

To begin your initial application, please click here.

You should ensure that you have registered for the CRA’s My Account and sign up for direct deposit to expedite the benefit process.

Due to the high volume of applicants, the Government of Canada is encouraging those applying for the CERB to follow the following application guidelines:

If you were born in the month of Apply for
CERB on
Your best
day to apply
January, February or March Monday April 6
April, May, or June Tuesday April 7
July, August, or September Wednesday April 8
October, November, or December Thursday April 9

 

The Government of Canada has indicated a Record of Employment will NOT be required to apply for the CERB. CERB has also been integrated with Employment Insurance to allow workers to apply for benefits through a single webpage – you must open a MY ACCOUNT with the CRA to apply.

Those that already have applied for EI do not need to reapply for the CERB. The claim will be automatically moved over to the CERB.

 

What information do I need for an application?

For your first CERB application:

  • You have stopped or will stop working due to reasons related to COVID-19;
  • For at least 14 days in a row for the period you are applying for, you will not receive:
    • Employment income;
    • Self-employment income; or,
    • Provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave.

 

For your subsequent CERB applications:

  • You continue to not work due to reasons related to COVID-19.
  • For the 4-week period you are applying for, you will not receive:
    • Employment income;
    • Self-employment income; or,
    • Provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave.
  • You have not quit your job voluntarily;
  • You did not apply for, nor receive, CERB or EI benefits from Service Canada for the same eligibility period;
  • You earned a minimum of $5,000 income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:
    • Employment income;
    • Self-employment income; or,
    • Provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave.

 

What if I have reduced earnings or just received my last commission cheque?

The eligibility criteria states that income cannot have been received in the previous 14 days.

If, for example, you receive payment today for work conducted days or months ago, you will have to wait for 14 days after the income is received in order to apply.

 

I am still working on behalf of clients (i.e. phoning clients, conducting virtual tours, etc.) but am not receiving income. Am I eligible for CERB?

Canadians are eligible for CERB, “Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.”

OREA’s recommendation is apply for the benefit if you think you fall into the above category.

 

Integration with Employment Insurance [EI]:

Those who are eligible for EI will still be able to access the standard EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.

More Info: Government of Canada website: CERB

 

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Federal government has announced a 75% wage subsidy program for businesses affected by COVID-19. The program is still subject to the approval of Parliament and could change during that process.

Businesses are eligible if they have seen a revenue reduction of at least 30% due to COVID-19. Businesses will have to demonstrate a decline in monthly revenues compared to the same month in 2019 (i.e., compared to March, April, or May 2019). An application portal will be launched by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in the next 3-6 weeks.

Employers who are eligible will receive 75% of wages for the first $58,700 of an employee’s annual salary. The government is encouraging businesses to make best efforts to cover or top up the employee’s remaining salary.

 

Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers

Companies which are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy can access the Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers, which provides a 10% wage subsidy for 3 months. The measure allows eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency.

The subsidy is equal to 10% of remuneration paid from March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 for each eligible employee and to a maximum of $25,000 per employer.

 

Canada Emergency Business Account

Qualifying businesses, which are businesses that had a total payroll of between $50,000 and $1 million in 2019, are eligible to receive interest-free loans of up to $40,000. Up to $10,000 of that loan can be fully forgivable if paid back by December 31, 2022. Applications are expected to be open as early as next week for these loans.

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