TORONTO -- The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) is now unavailable to people who haven’t yet filed their taxes for 2019 or 2020, according to recent changes on the Government of Canada’s website.

The feds have been signalling for some time that Canadians needed to file their taxes to keep qualifying for the emergency COVID-19 relief benefit. All other criteria for the CRB remains the same, such as applicants being ineligible for Employment Insurance or receiving other relief, such as the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit or Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit.

But there are exemptions to the newest criteria for the CRB.

A 2019 or 2020 tax return won’t be required if you applied for fewer than 21 periods since September 27, 2020, and you applied for the time period of July 4 to 17, 2021, or during earlier time periods.

The CRB is an iteration of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which sunsetted last fall. It provides $1,000 per two-week period and applies to those who lost their job due to COVID-19 or who saw a 50 per cent reduction in average weekly income compared to the previous year.

With files from Producer Sarah Turnbull