If you have been out of work due to COVID-19, you might already be collecting the $2,000 per month Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program payments from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). As you might already know, the program’s extension announced in June was also coming to an end.
The government announced that it would replace CERB with alternative programs to encourage Canadians to return to work. While everybody makes a transition to work, many people continue to remain jobless. The new and improved Employment Insurance (EI) program will help Canadians who still cannot find jobs.
To make the transition easier, the government announced another extension to CERB. The CRA will now pay eligible Canadians CERB money for four more weeks. It means you can claim another $2,000 by the end of September.
The CRA started CERB on April 6 for 16 weeks. The CRA extended the program by eight weeks in June so that the program lasts until September 26. The benefit’s primary objective was to provide emergency relief to people who lost their income due to the pandemic. The CERB is here to help applicants meet their necessary expenses until they can return to work or find a new job.
To date, the CRA has paid almost $70 billion in CERB to 8.61 million Canadians. The additional amount with the extension will cost an estimated $8 billion more.
Requirements are the same
The CRA allowed eligible Canadians to receive a maximum of $12,000 over 24 weeks. With the extension, you can get up to $14,000. You still need to meet CERB requirements:
- You must have earned at least $5,000 in the last 12 months.
- You must not have earned more than $1,000 in the last 14 days.
- You must not have been rehired under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program.
Remember that the CERB will still end, and the government will replace it with EI and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). The replacements will begin on September 27. Beyond September 26, you can avail the alternative benefit.
Maximizing the additional $2,000
The extra $2,000 CERB is a welcome relief to many Canadians. If you already arranged money in anticipation of the CERB ending, you might not need the $2,000 for urgent expenses. I would suggest investing that amount in a high-growth stock to maximize the CERB to your benefit.
Invest it in a stock like Lightspeed POS (TSX:LSPD) and boost your cash. The cloud-based software solutions provider for small- to medium-sized businesses worldwide is in an excellent position to grow your capital. The company suffered a drastic loss of income with the onset of COVID-19. It lost many subscribers, because their businesses had to close their doors.
Lightspeed changed its offerings to cater to the new demand for online services. As an increasing number of businesses move their operations online, the need for Lightspeed’s services has increased. In its first quarter, the company’s revenue increased by a massive 51% year over year. Its gross profit margins improved by 39% to 60%.
Investing the additional $2,000 in a high-growth stock can help you make the most of the CERB extension. At writing, Lightspeed is trading for $44.13 per share. Its share price has increased by almost 270% from its March bottom. As more businesses make the migration to the online world, I believe that the company can continue sustained growth. I think it can be a valuable investment with your CERB money if you can spare it.