Canadians from almost every province and territory across Canada can now apply for the $300-per-week Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.
The federal benefit offers temporary income support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are unable to work due to lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is only available to those living in a region where a “lockdown” order has been designated.
However, as of Sunday, January 9, residents of almost every province and territory can apply for the support.
This includes Ontario, Quebec, B.C., Alberta and all three territories, among others.
In fact, Saskatchewan is the only province that is not listed on the Government of Canada website.
It says that if your area is not listed, that’s likely because “your region is not designated as a lockdown region.” This means you cannot apply for the CWLB.
Previously, nobody in the country was eligible to apply for the benefit as no regions were officially considered to be under lockdown.
However, in response to rising concerns about the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the federal government updated its definition of a lockdown so that more people would be eligible to apply for the federal payments.
Residents of the qualifying regions are now able to apply for the money, although it will only be available for a specific number of weeks. They can also apply retroactively up to 60 days after the period has ended.
For example, Ontarians can so far get the CWLB for Period 9 (December 19 to 25, 2021), Period 10 (December 26, 2021 to January 1, 2022) and Period 11 (January 2 to 8, 2022).
Applicants should check they meet all other eligibility criteria before applying for the support.
During the first week of January, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a rundown of the COVID-19 benefits that are still available to people in Canada. This included the CWLB, as more restrictions are being put into place and Omicron is “spreading rapidly.”
If you receive a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency related to your benefits, don’t panic. The agency says around 200,000 Canadians will have their benefits “reviewed” this year alone.