COVID-19 income support measures

Your employer cannot end your contract if you are sick with COVID-19. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada is offering financial supports. You may be eligible for income support if you are laid off or if you become sick due to COVID-19. If you become ill after the initial quarantine period, you may be entitled to either paid or unpaid sick leave, depending on your employment contract and the relevant federal, provincial or territorial employment standards. Contact the employment standards office by telephone or visit their website to find out more. Please note that employers must pay you for the quarantine period and longer than the initial 14 days if you become symptomatic or were exposed to another person who had symptoms. After this period, employers do not have to pay you if you get sick. However, there are income supports available to you if you do get sick.

Employment Insurance (EI)

EI provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and are available for and able to work, but can't find a job. If you have insurable employment, you must apply to EI in order to see if you are eligible.

You may be eligible to receive:

  • EI Regular benefits: if you have lost your job through no fault of your own, or
  • EI Sickness benefits: if you are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine (except the initial mandatory quarantine period)
  • EI Maternity/Parental/Caregiving benefits.

Please visit the EI webpage for more information

Note: You have “insurable employment” if you have EI deductions taken from your paycheque.


If you don’t qualify for EI, you might be eligible for the new Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB) which are currently in effect until September 25, 2021.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) will provide $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to a maximum of 4 weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in 1-week periods.

Note: You don’t need to take your EI benefits before you apply for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit. However, you cannot get EI and the Recovery Benefits or any other paid leave at the same time.

You may be eligible to the CRSB if you:

  • reside in Canada (including while you are in Canada and have a valid work permit and SIN)
  • you are unable to work at least 50% of your scheduled work week because you are self-isolating due to COVID-19 (either you are sick or may be sick, or are advised to self-isolate)
  • you are not receiving any other benefits (CRB, EI) or paid leave from your employer for the same period
  • had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from

Learn more about the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide eligible workers with $500 per week (taxable, tax deducted at source) for up to 38 weeks for those who have stopped working and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in 2-week periods.

You may be eligible for the CRB if you:

  • reside in Canada (including while you are in Canada and have a valid work permit and SIN)
  • have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are available and looking for work in accordance to your work permit conditions; or are working and have had a reduction in your employment/self-employment for reasons related to COVID-19
  • are not eligible for EI
  • had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in 2020, or in the 12 months before the date you apply from, and
  • have not quit your job voluntarily

Note: You will not be eligible for the CRB for the initial quarantine period because your employer is responsible for your salary during that time, so please do not apply for that period.

Workers can only receive 1 type of benefit at a time.

Learn more about the Canada Recovery Benefit

Workers Compensation in Ontario (WSIB)

COVID-19 FAQs for temporary foreign agricultural workers and their employers:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should tell your employer about your illness and get tested as soon as possible. If you test positive for COVID-19 (with or without symptoms), you should file a claim for benefits with the WSIB. WSIB will work with you and your employer to help you recover and return to work safely.
  • If the WSIB allows your claim, you will receive loss-of-earnings benefits (and other benefits as necessary) while you are recovering and until you are able to return to work.
  • It is your employer’s responsibility to provide accommodation for you while you are recovering. WSIB will work with you and your employer to help you recover and return to work safely.
  • You do not need an OHIP number to be tested for COVID-19. Please speak to staff at the testing centre to find out how to receive your test results.

Workers Compensation in British Columbia – WorkSafe BC

Migrant workers in BC who are quarantined during their course of employment by their employer or by a Provincial Health directive are encouraged to submit a claim with WorkSafeBC (WSBC) if you exhibit symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

  • If you have a positive test or show symptoms, your claims will be adjudicated based on the merits of the claim and available evidence (which may include worker statement, test results, employer evidence, or other evidence). When considering the merits of the claim the officer will also consider work-related factors such as housing conditions provided by employer.
  • If you have no symptoms, WorkSafeBC will hold the claim for 14 days, if symptoms develop, they will go through same adjudication process as above. If no symptoms develop over the 14 days, then the claim will likely be disallowed as no there would be no evidence of disease.


Call Teleclaim @ 1-888-WORKERS (1.888.967.5377) or click the button below to file online.

Workers required to quarantine can also submit a claim through their private medical insurance provider at the same time. If the claim is approved, the payments will be coordinated

Questions or concerns about workplace exposure to COVID-19? Call WorkSafeBC’s Prevention Information Line at 604.276.3100 in the Lower Mainland (toll-free within B.C. at 1.888.621.SAFE) to speak to a prevention officer to get answers to your questions.

Photo by Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (CC BY NC SA 3.0)