Here's what the 2021 census says about how many Canadians received COVID benefits

·3 min read

OTTAWA — New data released Wednesday provides the clearest snapshot yet of how many Canadians accessed the COVID-19 support programs the government hastily rolled out at the beginning of the pandemic.

Statistics Canada unveiled the information as part of its rollout of findings from the national census taken in May 2021.

More than 20.7 million people received at least some financial support from the government, including 16.9 million who received top-ups from existing programs.

In total, 8.4 million received benefits specifically designed to respond to COVID-19, the agency reported.

Within that category, here's the breakdown of who got what.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Who it was for: Workers who stopped working or whose work hours were reduced due to COVID-19, and who had made at least $5,000 in income during 2019.

What they got: $2,000 for each four-week period, for a maximum of 16 weeks.

How long it was available: March 15 until Sept. 26, 2020

How many people received it: 7,621,950

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

Who it was for: Workers who, for a two-week period, were not able to work or had a 50 per cent reduction in their earnings due to COVID-19, and who were not entitled to employment insurance benefits.

What they got: $1,000 or $600 for a two-week period, depending on when they applied.

How long it was available: Sept. 27, 2020 to Oct. 23, 2021

How many people received it before the census was taken: 1,150,575

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

Who it was for: Employed or self-employed people who were sick or needed to self-isolate due to COVID-19, or had an underlying health condition that put them at greater risk of catching it.

What they got: $500 for each one-week period, for up to six weeks.

How long it was available: Sept. 27, 2020 to May 7, 2022

How many people received it before the census was taken: 231,456

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

Who it was for: People who were unable to work because they needed to care for a child under 12 or a family member who needed supervised care — either because schools, programs or facilities were closed, or because they were sick, self-isolating or at risk of serious health issues because of COVID-19.

What they got: $500 for each one-week period, for up to 44 weeks.

How long it was available: Sept. 27, 2020 to May 7, 2022

How many people received it before the census was taken: 197,335

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Who it was for: Post-secondary students and recent post-secondary or high school graduates unable to find work due to COVID-19.

What they got: $1,250 for each four-week period, for a maximum of 16 weeks, plus an additional $750 for each four-week period if they had a disability or dependants.

How long it was available: May 10 to Aug. 29, 2020

How many people received it: 732,005

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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