Canada enacts changes to EI and recovery benefit regulations

Canada enacts changes to EI and recovery benefits

This new legislation extends the number of weeks available for CRB, CRSB, CRCB and EI, among other changes


Canada recently enacted legislation to extend and expand certain COVID-19 recovery benefits and Employment Insurance (EI). The legislation, which passed into law on March 17, 2021 and related regulations that have come into effect, increase the number of weeks available for benefits under the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) and EI. These changes were first announced in February 2021.

This legislation also adds the previously announced condition that international travellers who need to quarantine upon return to Canada will not be eligible to receive support from any of the Canada Recovery Benefits during their mandatory quarantine, subject to certain exceptions.


The CRB, CRCB and CRSB are intended to support eligible individuals who may not qualify for Employment Insurance or who are unable to fully return to work due to reasons related to COVID-19. These regulatory and legislative amendments, first announced on February 19, 2021, will:

  • Extend the maximum duration of CRB and the CRCB to 38 weeks (from 26 weeks)
  • Extend the CRSB to four weeks (from two weeks)
  • Extend EI regular benefits so they are available to a maximum of 50 weeks (from a maximum of 26 weeks), for claims that are made between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

In addition, self-employed workers who have opted into the EI program to access special benefits are now able to use a 2020 earnings threshold of $5,000 (previously $7,555). This change is retroactive for claims established as of January 3, 2021 and applies until September 25, 2021.

For more information, contact your KPMG advisor.

Information is current to March 22, 2021. The information contained in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's National Tax Centre at 416.777.8500

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