Applications for Canada’s expanded lockdown support not open until 2022

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CANADA NEWS:

People in Canada who are impacted by local measures aimed at curbing the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant will have to wait until 2022 to apply for recently expanded financial support.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, shown Dec. 16, this week announced expanded eligibility for two pandemic financial supports. A spokesperson stated that those who are eligible for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit will not be able apply until the new year. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

People in Canada who are impacted by local measures aimed at curbing the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant will have to wait until 2022 to apply for recently expanded financial support.

The federal government announced Wednesday that employees in regions where governments have introduced capacity restrictions of 50 per cent or more are eligible for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit if they’ve lost more than half their income. The expansion opened eligibility for the $300-per-week program to more Canadians. A spokesperson for Employment and Social Development Canada said that workers in areas covered by the temporary measures can apply early in the new calendar year.

“Eligible workers will have up to 60 days from the end of the period for which they are applying to make an application. Retroactive payments will not be made until the deadline. “

Capacity restrictions are part of new measures imposed recently in several provinces in response to rapidly rising COVID-19 infections. Canada reported more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time on Thursday.

CANADA NEWS: Expanded eligibility expected to cost $4B

On Wednesday, the country’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said urgent action is needed to curb the spread of Omicron, now the dominant strain of coronavirus in several provinces.

. The federal government also announced that it is expanding eligibility for its Local Lockdown Program. Employers subject to capacity restrictions of 50 per cent or more and face current-month declines in revenue of at least 25 per cent are eligible to apply for the program, which grants wage subsidies from 25 to 75 per cent depending on revenue loss.

. The government released that the expanded eligibility will cost $4 billion. The new regulations will apply retroactively to Dec. 19 and last until Feb. 12.

(*CBC News reached out the federal government to inquire about the opening date for the Local Lockdown Program to new applicants. However, no response was received as of publication.

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