The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) finally announced the end of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The last eligibility period for CERB ended on September 26, 2020. However, many Canadians remain unemployed, and a substantial portion of them cannot qualify for the adjusted Employment Insurance (EI) program.
The CRA launched the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) program as one of the alternative programs to replace the CERB. Many Canadians relying on CERB were devastated to find that there will be no further extensions to it. However, it seems that CRB could be a much better way to help Canadians who cannot earn right now compared to CERB.
I will discuss how CRB is better than CERB and how you can make the most of the payments.
Three ways CRB is better than the CERB
The CRB benefit pays $500 per week, like the CERB. While the payout is the same for both programs, there is a significant difference in how you can receive them. CRB eligibility periods are two weeks. It means that you will receive $1,000 with each application instead of $2,000 for four-week periods.
Additionally, the CRB eligibility periods will last for 52 weeks. You can claim CRB payments for any of the 26 weeks in the eligibility period. You can earn a maximum of $13,000 through CRB if you collect all the payments.
- You can claim CRB in any of the 26 weeks from September 27, 2020, to September 25, 2021.
- You can claim CRB, even if you earned more than $1,000 per month, as long as your annual income is less than $38,000.
- You will receive the CRB payments with the tax already deducted from it, so you don’t have to worry about it while you file your income taxes in the next tax season.
Applying for CRB is similar to applying for CERB. You have to register for the benefit through the CRA website and submit your application for every two-week period you want to claim the CRB. You can claim the benefit for each eligibility period for up to 60 days after it ends.
For instance, the first CRB eligibility period lasted from September 27, 2020, to October 11, 2020. You can claim the CRB amount for this eligibility period until December 10, 2020.
Maximize the value of your CRB payments
If you were already preparing to make alternative arrangements for managing your expenses due to the end of CERB and you still qualify for CRB, I would advise using the amount to invest in a high-growth tech stock like Lightspeed POS (TSX:LSPD)(NYSE:LSPD).
Lightspeed has been a major player in the Canadian tech landscape since its initial public offering. The stock saw a drastic decline in its growth and valuation as the lockdowns began. Most of its clients ended subscriptions with the company, because they could not pay for its services.
Lightspeed updated its offerings to provide customers with cloud-based solutions that restaurants and retailers could use for their e-commerce platforms. Since the update, Lightspeed’s valuation has skyrocketed.
Lightspeed is trading for $45.99 per share at writing. Its valuation has increased by more than 280% since its March 2020 bottom.
Apply for CRB to leverage its benefits over the CERB program. If you can afford to manage your daily expenses through other means, you should consider investing your $500-per-week CRB payments in high-growth stocks.
Aside from minor fluctuations, Lightspeed has been growing steadily over the past several months. I think it could be a fantastic way to maximize the value of your CRB money.
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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 Adam Othman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Lightspeed POS Inc.