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Canada Revenue Agency: 1 Way the $2,000 CRB Isn’t As Good As the CERB

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Many people are comparing the CRB we have now to the CERB that has now ended. It’s true that the CRB, in its way, is here is a CERB replacement. But it’s not a genuine alternative to the CERB. There are various ways in which the CRB is a step down from the CERB that helped millions of Canadians during one of the worst economic crises we’ve seen in modern times.

One of the essential things to understand is that CRB isn’t as comprehensive or all-encompassing as the CERB was, and that’s by design. The whole point of replacing a generous payment like the CERB was to turn people to the EI. In a way, the CERB was responsible for making some people. They opted to receive a benefit payment instead of expanding every effort in finding paid work.

In some cases, it was actually more than what many people could earn from paid work. The EI, on the other hand, will ensure that people are prioritizing finding paid work instead of signing up for a benefit payment. And the CRB was created to fill a gap and ensure payments to people that don’t qualify for the EI.

The CERB was better

One way that the CRB isn’t as good as the CERB was is that it won’t last as long. The CERB was available for 28 weeks, while the CRB benefit is capped at 26 weeks. If you are eligible for receiving the CRB, you can only apply for 13 periods. Each period lasts two-weeks. You don’t have to apply and receive the new benefit payments consecutively.

There are 26 periods available between September 27, 2020, and September 25, 2020. When you have received payments for 13 of these periods, you will no longer be eligible.

Good use of the CERB

If you had received your first CERB payment by mid-April and invested half of it ($1,000) in SunOpta (TSX:SOY), you’d now have over $4,100 in the company’s stocks. That’s about four times the growth, and if you consider it a CRB replacement or extension, it’s equivalent for four periods of benefit payment. If you placed it in your TFSA, it would have been even better since you won’t have to pay any taxes on it.

SunOpta is a Brampton-based food company with a market cap of $1.05 billion. It focuses on organic fruit and vegetable growth and creating plant-based foods and beverages. It has 29 locations across eight countries. The company has a solid balance sheet, and it’s growing its income steadily. Currently, its price has outstepped its fair valuation by quite a bit, so it might be better to wait a bit before buying.

Foolish takeaway

About 1.86 million CRB applications have been approved, and $1.87 billion have already been poured into this benefit payment. This shows that either the CRB has expanded way beyond its intended scope or the EI is not catering to as many people as it should. But it’s important to remember that the CRB won’t help you out once your 26 weeks are over.

Speaking of the CRB...

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Fool contributor Adam Othman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of SUNOPTA, INC.

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