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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

What is the CEWS?

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is a wage subsidy program offered until May 7, 2022 to qualifying employers who have seen a drop in revenue due to COVID-19. CEWS is meant to prevent more job losses by helping you keep your employees on payroll, enabling you to re-hire workers, and facilitating a return to normal operations. If you qualify for CEWS, you will receive a percentage of your employees’ pay subsidized based on your revenue loss.

Most recent update:

On December 22, 2021, government temporarily expanded the CEWS from December 19, 2021, to February 12, 2022, to:

  • Reduce the revenue reduction threshold requirement to 25 per cent
  • Include employers subject to capacity-limit restrictions of 50 per cent or more 

December 17, 2021, Bill C-2 passed legislating CEWS to target its support to only the most impacted businesses after Oct 23rd, 2021. 

There are 3 new programs which will run from Oct. 24th, 2021, to May 7th, 2022:

  1. Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
  2. Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program
  3. Lockdown Support Program

As more details are available, we’ll update our website with the most accurate, recent information.

See our CEWS timeline of events for all the wage subsidy updates.


Program overview Eligibility requirements CEWS calculations
FAQ Other resources Our advocacy

CEWS Program Overview

How the program is administered: CEWS is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on a period-by-period basis, with each period spanning 4 weeks (this is referred to as a CEWS Claim Period). Below is a current schedule of CEWS Claim Periods open for applications:

Period 18 Period 19 Period 20 Period 21 Period 22* Period 23 Period 24 Period 25 Period 26 Period 27 Period 28
July 4 to July 31, 2021 Aug 1 to Aug 28. 2021 Aug 29 to Sept 25, 2021 Sept 26 to Oct 23, 2021 Oct. 24 to Nov. 20, 2021 Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, 2021 Dec. 19, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022 Jan. 16 to Feb. 12, 2022 Feb. 13 to March 12, 2022 March 13 to April 9, 2022 April 10 to May 7, 2022

*From period 22 (October 24 – November 20, 2021) onwards, applications must be made through the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP), the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP) or the Local Lockdown Program (LLP)

Amount businesses can receive: There is no maximum dollar amount a business can receive from the program; however, there is a limit on the amount of subsidy you can receive for a single employee’s weekly wages. This limit changes depending on the claim period. For more details, please see the eligibility requirements below.

Program duration: March 15, 2020, to October 23, 2021; from October 24, 2021, to May 7, 2022, under the THRP, HHBRP, and LLP.

How to apply: Through CRA’s My Business Account, Represent a Client, or the web application form.

Application deadline: 180 days after the end of the claim period.

Eligibility criteria: Up to and including period 21, nearly all businesses are eligible for the wage subsidy. To be eligible, your business must:

  1. Have a CRA Business Number issued before March 15, 2020, or a third-party payroll provider who submits your payroll to CRA;
  2. Have employees on payroll who receive a T4 slip (includes new hires); and
  3. Meet or surpass the revenue loss threshold within a claim period.

For period 22 onwards, businesses must meet the eligibility criteria of either the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP), the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program (HHBRP), or the Local Lockdown Program (LLP) to access CEWS.

Please see the eligibility requirements below for more details.

How to calculate: Each claim period you apply for has its own calculation. Please see the eligibility requirements below for more details. For a quick estimate of your CEWS you will need to determine your CEWS rate and multiply it by your eligible employee wages to determine the maximum CEWS amount ($) that your business is eligible for.

CEWS rate (%) × (Maximum weekly benefit per employee × Number of employees) = CEWS ($)

Stay informed! If you’re not a CFIB member and would like to receive the CEWS updates by email, please subscribe to our email list.

CEWS Eligibility Requirements

Determine if your business meets all four of the following criteria.

CEWS Calculations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CFIB advocating for on CEWS?

What we have achieved:

  • CFIB got the CEWS expanded to a 75% wage subsidy program
  • CFIB has pushed for the CEWS to allow more firms to access it. These improvements include introducing a sliding scale of revenue losses; allowing firms to compare revenue to January-February 2020; and allowing them to use cash accounting.

What we're pushing for:

  • Simplify the wage subsidy and ensure business owners and their family members working in the business can have some of their dividend income covered.
  • Include new firms and those who got a CRA Business Number after March 15th.

How you can help:

  • We’ve pushed the government to make some progress, but we're still fighting for better relief measures. Add your voice today.


Visit our COVID-19 Help Centre

Our primary concern at CFIB is making sure you have the support you need to get through this uncertain and challenging time. We provide you with expert advice and ensure that you have all of the latest information on government announcements and available support.