New CRA support program for COVID-19 benefits restored after technical difficulties

OTTAWA — The government’s new financial support program for Canadians who have missed work due to the COVID-19 pandemic was temporarily sidelined by technical issues Monday, leaving many unable to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit.

According to a statement issued to CTVNews.ca, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) experienced “technical issues” with the applications for the benefits Monday morning. Multiple people have also contacted CTV News to report the issue.

Service was restored Monday afternoon.

“The technical issues which impacted the application process for the Recovery Benefits has now been restored. Taxpayers may now resume their applications. The CRA regrets the momentary impact this may have on applicants and we appreciate their patience,” a spokesperson said via email. 

The new benefits come into effect as concerns rise about increasing job losses as Ontario and Quebec impose targeted restrictions on restaurants, bars and fitness centres to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Applications for the new Canada Recovery Benefit, which will pay $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, are to be made through the Canada Revenue Agency.

A new caregiver benefit also comes into effect Monday, after numerous calls since the start of the pandemic for added support for parents and others who are forced to miss work to care for a dependent due to COVID-19. The benefit applies to people who miss work because of school or daycare closures, whose children miss school or daycare because they have contracted the virus or may have been exposed, or those forced to miss work to care for family members who need specialized care that is unavailable to them due to COVID-19.

The government estimates some 700,000 Canadians will apply for the caregiver benefit.

A new sick-leave benefit will also be available for those who can’t work because they contracted COVID-19 or must self-isolate because of the virus. The benefit will pays up to $1,000 over two weeks.​

– With files from the Canadian Press

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