Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Region: Ontario Answer # 7250

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is a Federal Government program available to businesses experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic. Specifically, employers who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of employee wages. It is meant to enable employers to re-hire workers and help prevent further job losses.

Amount of subsidy

The subsidy amount for each eligible employee (on eligible wages paid) depends on the claim period (see below).

You can calculate how much you may receive by using the subsidy amount calculator on the CEWS website or visit How the subsidy is calculated page.

Eligible employers

The benefit is available to both large and small businesses. Eligible employers include:

  • individuals / sole proprietors,
  • taxable corporations,
  • partnerships consisting of eligible employers,
  • non‑profit organizations, and
  • registered charities.

Public bodies, such as governments and publicly funded organizations, such as public universities, colleges, schools and hospitals are not eligible for this subsidy.

Eligible employees

As per the Government of Canada,

“An eligible employee is an individual employed in Canada by you (the eligible employer) during the claim period, except if there was a period of 14 or more consecutive days in that period in respect of which they were not paid eligible remuneration by you.”

Available claim periods

  • Claim period 15: April 11, 2021 – May 8, 2021
  • Claim period 16: May 9, 2021 – June 5, 2021
  • Claim period 17: June 6, 2021 – July 3, 2021
  • Claim period 18: July 4, 2021 – July 31, 2021
  • Claim period 19: August 1, 2021 – August 28, 2021
  • Claim period 20: August 29, 2021 – September 25, 2021
  • Claim period 21: September 26, 2021 – October 23, 2021

How to apply

After confirming that the claim period being applied for is open, employers can apply for the CEWS through Canada Revenue Agency’s in three ways:

1.  Most businesses may apply online using the My Business Account portal.

2. Business representatives may apply online using the Represent a Client option.

3.  Through a web-based application.

Employers have to keep records showing the reduction in revenues and wages paid to employees.

Changes to CEWS

  • as of July 30, 2021, CEWS was extended to October 23, 2021
  • the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) was introduced, beginning June 6, 2021.
  • for claim periods 17 to 20, claim either CEWS or CRHP, whichever gives you the higher amount
  • the government is proposing to continue COVID-19 business support programs until May 2022 for organizations hit hardest since the start of the pandemic or most affected by public health restrictions

Ensuring compliance

Employers will be required to repay amounts paid under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy if they do not meet the eligibility requirements.

Penalties, which may include both fines and imprisonment, may apply in cases of fraudulent claims.

More info

For detailed information and up-to-date changes regarding CEWS, visit canada.ca. For information on other available supports for businesses and individuals, visit the Government of Canada Economic Response Plan website.

Provincial relief programs for businesses: There may also be financial relief programs and incentives for businesses available from provincial governments. For more info, visit our related links and resources for what is available where you live.

For up-to-date information on Coronavirus COVID-19, visit Health Canada, the World Health Organization, and our related links.


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