The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is not everlasting, although many are hoping it will convert to a permanent benefit soon. CERB is already a household name. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been discharging emergency money to eligible Canadians for almost three months. Did you get your $2,000 per month?
You’re missing out on the taxable benefit if you haven’t applied yet. The CERB payments can help you get by during the pandemic. Also, it can compensate for your lost income due to COVID-19. You might be running out of time, because the seventh and last period is fast approaching.
The primary objective of CERB is to provide temporary financial support to individuals going through the harrowing pandemic. There are estimates that households are losing about 40-50% of combined wage income. CERB can somehow close this gap.
There are roughly 11 million applications so far, and the CRA has paid out $41 billion in CERB. If you lost your job or are working fewer works as a result of the health crisis, you’re eligible to apply. Some recipients are due to max out their $8,000 by July 2020. They might be preparing to re-apply for another 16 weeks of financial support.
Create a permanent income
CERB will not be available for long. As lockdown measures relax, and businesses start reopening, people should be returning to work. A program extension is possible, although there is concern regarding the country’s swelling deficit and rising debt.
The chances of rolling out a universal basic income in the near term are slim. The economy has to recover first, while the federal government explores other ways to establish new support programs.
Meanwhile, you can reduce your overdependence on federal aid by creating permanent income. For example, you can invest your “excess” cash equivalent to the $8,000 CERB to earn more. I don’t recommend investing your CERB if you need it for basic living expenses, but if you can afford it at this time and have the extra cash, consider the following stock. Choice Properties (TSX:CHP.UN) is one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts (REITs). It has a market capitalization of $4.25 billion.
Choice Properties is currently trading at less than $15 per share and paying a 5.54% dividend. Your seed money can generate $443.20 in passive income. The earnings will compound over time or as you increase your holdings.
This real estate stock is the ideal provider in a recession or pandemic. Choice Properties owns, manages, and leases out 724 properties across Canada. Most of them are retail properties that generate the bulk of total revenues.
The anchor or lead tenant is Loblaw, a $23.72 billion food retail and pharmacy giant. Another main tenant is Dollarama, an operator of a chain of dollar stores. Both are open and operating during the COVID-19 lockdown. Choice Properties continues to generate stable cash flow from its necessity-based retail properties.
The clock is ticking
CERB is helping millions of Canadians cope with the financial strain due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. If your circumstances prevent you from working and receiving a regular income, you will have money to get by for 16 weeks.
Don’t blow the chance to receive $2,000 monthly from the CRA. The processing of application and release of proceeds won’t take long.
Speaking of CERB's nearing deadline...
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Christopher Liew has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.