The federal government announced today that the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) is open for applications.
The benefit, which gives temporary income support to employed and self-employed people who cannot work due to a COVID-19 lockdown, pays $300 a week. It's only available to those in a lockdown region who can't work as a result of capacity restrictions.
In a news release, the Canada Revenue Agency said British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut are designated as lockdown regions.
"This list will be updated as provincial or territorial governments introduce changes to public health restrictions," the release reads.
Payments will be retroactive to December 19.
The benefit was created early this month but was not initially available to anyone as the federal government had not designated any regions as being in lockdown. The government later expanded eligibility so that COVID-19 public health orders restricting public access to businesses by at least 50 per cent would be included under the definition of a lockdown order.
Full eligibility criteria can be found on the CRA's website. Applicants must have lost more than half of their income.
"Through Bill C-2 and the expansion of the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, we are supporting Canadian workers through targeted income support as regions implement public health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19," Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said in the release.
National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said the government would continue "monitoring the evolving situation closely."
"These changes will ensure Canadians have the support they need to deal with the economic impacts of the Omicron variant, while also supporting a strong economic recovery," Lebouthillier said.