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NEW CRB/EI Stimulus: What You Need to Know

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The stock market is in a tricky place right now, but investors shouldn’t feel fear. The Canadian government is rolling out new economic stimulus plans for Canadians as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) expires. CERB will transition to a new $30 billion Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) program and Employment Insurance (EI).

Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of these new government-assistance plans.

Differences between CERB and CRB/EI

CERB provided $2000 to help Canadians from March to September of 2020. With many Canadians out of work and practicing social-distancing recommendations, this stimulus became a crucial lifeline for millions of people to pay bills and purchase necessities.

The economic stimulus also maintained cash flowing in the economy to prevent further job losses and keep Canadians employed.

CRB and EI will not provide as much income to struggling Canadians, but it is better than nothing. Further, the application process and eligibility criteria may seem more daunting to Canadians in need. Nevertheless, there is hope.

CRB/EI eligibility criteria & Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit

Eligibility for the EI and CRB benefits hinges on the following:

  • 120 insurable hours of work in the last 52 weeks
  • Remaining employment insurance eligibility
  • Loss of employment due to COVID-19

If you have already used up the entire employment insurance benefits for which you were eligible, you can still apply for CRB. Further, self-employed, gig, and contract workers are eligible for CRB.

If you are a Canadian citizen who must forgo 60% or more of working hours to care for dependents, you can apply for the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).

If you want to apply for the CRB or CRCB, contact the CRA and follow the agency’s instructions. Meanwhile, Service Canada will continue to manage employment insurance benefit applications.

Don’t sell out of the stock market

The Toronto Stock Exchange is still volatile. This can be a scary time for shareholders in the stock market right now. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that there are ups and downs to everything in life.

When you are at your lowest point, do you want to be the person that gives up right before the light at the end of the tunnel?

That’s not the person I choose to be. Don’t sell unless you absolutely need the cash or you feel like the company is going to fail in the next 10 years. Rely on government benefits, employment income, and regular savings until the market rebounds.

You won’t regret betting on a market rebound, because they are always right around the corner after the crash. Investors just need the patience to wait for it.

At the end of the day, stock market investing is a long-term activity. Keeping the mindset on where the stock is going to be in a year versus where it is today prevents investors from reacting from emotion.

Think logically about your decisions. Market sentiments change from week to week and month to month.

Do you have stocks to track?

Do you have stocks to track on the Toronto Stock Exchange? Even better: Do you have some cash to invest while the market is low?

Now is a good time to research top investments and maybe start dipping into some companies that may be feeling the pain of market volatility. Remember to buy low and sell high to succeed in stock market investing.

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 Debra Ray has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 

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