Supports for the Self-Employed for COVID-19
The self-employed are often left behind when it comes to government benefits, and the Burnaby Board of Trade is advocating daily with provincial and federal governments to make sure they are included in the COVID-19 support programs being announced.
Following advocacy from the BBOT and the chamber of commerce network, self-employed, contract workers, freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners, who would not be eligible for EI generally, have been included several benefit programs announced by government, including:
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a new benefit will combine the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit. This benefit is for people who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and is open to self-employed individuals.
This benefit is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid. The benefit payments are available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020, and you can apply no later than December 2, 2020.
- Emergency Benefit for Workers
This provincial benefit will layer on top of anyone receiving federal EI payments, or the above Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Details of this program include:
- A one-time, tax-free $1000 payment
- Self-employed are included if they get the above Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- There will be an application process which is not yet outlined