COVID-19: Applying for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The Federal Government provided an update on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) earlier today.


The CEWS provides a subsidy to Eligible Employers of up to 75% of the remuneration paid (up to a maximum of $847 per week) if they have experienced certain revenue reductions.


The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will start taking applications for the CEWS on Monday, April 27, 2020.
This will be for Period 1, for payroll paid between March 15th and April 11th, 2020.
There are three ways to apply:
  1. Using My Business Account
  2. Online application forms (to be developed by the CRA)
  3. Through “Represent a Client” (for firms such as Clearline CPA)
The CRA expects that payments by direct deposit will start on May 5th. Cheques are expected to be mailed shortly thereafter.

Subsidy Calculator
The CRA has released both an Excel spreadsheet and an online calculator to assist businesses in calculating the amount of the CEWS that they will be entitled to receive.

To prepare for the application, businesses should consider taking these steps:
  1. Ensure they have registered for My Business Account.
  2. Confirm/update direct deposit information (through My Business Account).
  3. Calculate their revenue decline for March and then April 2020 to confirm their eligibility (see previous information about how to calculate the revenue decline).
  4. Calculate the amount of the subsidy by gathering employee payroll records.

Please ensure that you keep records demonstrating your reduction in revenue and the remuneration paid to employees. The CRA may do audits afterwards and they may apply penalties if you received the CEWS but it is later determined that you were ineligible.

If you have any questions about the information outlined above, please reach out to our team at