Are you worried that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will no longer give you $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)? What if I tell you there is a way you can still get the CERB after September? If you haven’t yet exhausted your $14,000 CERB limit and you qualify for the benefit, you will get paid.
The CRA launched the CERB to help Canadians who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It paid out $2,000 for a four-week benefit period in advance. But this benefit is for the period from March 15 to September 26.
The CRA cannot pay your bills forever. As Canada learns to live with COVID-19, the CRA is changing the benefits accordingly.
You can still get CERB after September
If you haven’t claimed your CERB during the benefit period even though you were eligible, you can get it now. Yes, you can apply for the CERB for a particular benefit period until December 2, and the CRA will make the payment in arrears.
Let’s use an example. Jane owns a hair salon. She had to close the salon during the lockdown. She was eligible for the CERB and claimed it for April to June period. As the lockdown eased, she opened her salon from July, but didn’t get many customers. She earned less than $1,000 in July and August. During this time, she didn’t apply for the CERB, even though she was eligible, hoping that the business would pick up.
Jane can apply for the July and August period CERB in September or October, and the CRA will credit the $2,000 amount as benefit arrears.
September can be hard on your wallet
September is a pretty tough month, as the CRA is replacing the CERB with the new Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). Under the CRB, the CRA will pay $1,600 at the end of the four-week benefit period, which means towards the end of October. September is also the last month to pay your 2019 income tax.
If you are depending on the CERB money for your living expenses, September could be hard on your wallet. It could leave you with no cash for October expenses. Hence, if you haven’t exhausted your CERB limit, make use of the arrears benefit payment and claim your CERB in October.
Maximize your $2,000 CERB
Like you, many retail investors who have exhausted their CERB limit are cashing out on their investment profits to manage without CERB. This is a good time to put some of the arrears in high-growth stocks through your Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).
Lightspeed POS (TSX:LSPD) is a high-growth stock that has made a remarkable comeback in the post-pandemic economy. Its omnichannel solutions help retailers and restaurants manage payments, orders, marketing, and inventory of various stores on a single platform. The company is launching a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) to raise equity capital to tap future growth and acquisition opportunities.
This stock fell 67.5% in the March sell-off. It then surged 300% from April to September, resulting in a year-to-date gain of 31%. Even last year, when it launched its TSX IPO in March, the stock surged 90%. Lightspeed has been growing even before the pandemic and has the potential to make new highs in the post-pandemic economy.
The recent market correction has reduced Lightspeed’s stock price by 14% from its all-time high, creating a buying opportunity. If you invest $1,000 of your CERB money in this stock, it will earn you $160 if the stock returns to its 52-week high and even further if it makes new highs.
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 Puja Tayal has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc.