OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Thursday unveiled its plan to transition Canadians who lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic off emergency benefits and onto the country’s traditional unemployment insurance program.
Here are some details:
* Canada will extend the C$2,000 ($1,518) per month Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for another four weeks, to a maximum of 28 weeks. More than 4 million Canadians are currently receiving the emergency benefit.
* The transition to Canada’s traditional unemployment benefit program, known as Employment Insurance (EI), will start on Sept. 27.
* The majority of claimants will automatically be moved to EI once they have maxed out the emergency benefit.
* Canada will also create three new temporary benefits within the EI program: One for self-employed workers or gig-type workers; Another for workers who are sick or must self-isolate because of COVID-19; And a third for people unable to work because they are caring for a young child, family member or dependent. Parliament will have to approve these changes.
* Claimants will need to submit bi-weekly reports to show they are continuing to look for work and fulfilling other eligibility requirements.
* The benefits are taxable. Employment Insurance premiums for both employers and workers will be frozen for two years.
($1 = 1.3175 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Kelsey Johnson; editing by Julie Gordon and Lisa Shumaker
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.