Revenue Canada reported at noon that they had solved a technical glitch that had frustrated Canadians trying to apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit. The benefit was designed to assist self-employed Canadians who did not qualify for EI. But as applications flooded in to Revenue Canada today—the first day when applications could be received—the system appears to have crashed. Applications for the new benefit, which will pay $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, can be made through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The benefit is open to those who don’t qualify for EI because they never paid into it or don’t have enough hours.
The new benefit from the federal government comes into effect as concerns rise about increasing job losses with Ontario and Quebec imposing targeted restrictions on restaurants, bars and fitness centres to slow the spread of COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus.
Applicants were met with a message that said “You cannot apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit as you have applied for all eligible periods.”
CBC News asked CRA about the issues. A spokesperson provided this statement just after 11 a.m. ET: “The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is currently experiencing technical issues with applications for Recovery Benefits. We are urgently working to restore this service as quickly as possible. The CRA regrets the impact this may have on applicants, and we appreciate their patience.”
The CRB is one of several support measures the Federal Government announced last week. There is a new caregiver benefit, providing added support for parents and others who are forced to miss work to care for a dependent due to COVID-19.
The government has also created a new sick-leave benefit that pays up to $1,000 over two weeks to people who can’t work because they contracted COVID-19 or must self-isolate because of the virus.