Over two years later, the COVID-19 pandemic still burdens our everyday lives. In the wake of the year 2022, the surge of cases due to the virus’ new variant, Omicron, has again put a lot of people out of work. Although believed to be a little less deadly than other variants, Omicron is definitely more contagious, causing a shortage of labourers across different industries. As the virus continues to mutate, so do our efforts to keep up.
According to BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), if you become sick due to COVID or were in isolation due to suspected COVID and could not work, you need to be isolated for 5 days for vaccinated individuals and 10 days for those who were unvaccinated. So if you are an international student who got sick due to COVID and is mandated to self-isolate, that is at least 5 days of no work pay. Worry not, if this is your case, you may be eligible to apply for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB).
What is Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit?
CRSB or Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit is a benefit granted by the Federal Government of Canada for eligible individuals who got sick due to COVID or are in need to self-isolate. CRSB is not to be confused with Canada Emergency Benefit (CERB) and Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) which are now both closed.
For CRSB, you can get up to $500 ($450 after taxes) per week that you cannot work because of COVID. Application is per week, and you can only apply for a maximum of 6 times between September 27, 2020 and May 7, 2022. The review of your application may take up to 4-6 weeks, depending if CRA will ask for more information about your case.
Eligibility for CRSB
- You are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you’re self-isolating for one of the following reasons:
- You are sick with COVID-19 or may have COVID-19
- You are advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19 by any of these people:
- your employer
- a medical practitioner
- a nurse practitioner
- a person in authority
- the government
- your public health authority
- You have an underlying health condition that puts you at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
- You did not apply for or receive any of the following for the same period:
- Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
- Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
- Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB)
- Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
- Québec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) benefits
- short-term disability benefits
- You reside in Canada – You live and have a home in Canada, but you do not have to be a citizen or a permanent resident to apply, hence temporary residents like international students can apply.
- You are at least 15 years old.
- You have a valid Social Insurance Number.
- You earned at least $5,000 in 2019, 2020, 2021, or in the 12 months before the date you apply. This income includes all employment and self-employment income plus the following:
- non-eligible dividends
- honoraria (nominal amounts paid to volunteers)
- royalties (payments to artists)
The earned income of $5,000 does not include student loans, bursaries, or scholarships.
- You are not receiving paid leave from your employer for the same period.
- You were not self-isolating or in quarantine due to international travel. This excludes you as an essential worker who travelled for reasons normally exempt from quarantine when you return to Canada (such as health care workers or truck drivers who need to cross the border for work) but were required to this time.
Based on the following eligibility, as long as you meet it all, international students can deifnitely apply for CRSB. You can apply either online or via phone.
What you need to apply online:
- You must have filed your 2019 and 2020 income taxes.
- Have a CRA account.
- Set up your direct deposit.
Applying by Phone:
Call 1-800-959-8281. Have the following ready to verify your identity:
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- full name and date of birth
- complete address
- assessed tax return, notice of assessment or reassessment, other tax document, or be signed in to CRA My Account
Bear in mind that if you have found out to be not eligible, you will be asked to return the benefit later, so make sure you are eligible before proceeding. Hope this article helps you.