Help with your CEWS (and CRHP!) claims

Help with your CEWS and CRHP Claims

You may be surprised to learn that most employers qualify for funding from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program!

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) Program refunds a portion of gross wages paid, from March 15, 2020 onwards. Unlike the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) Program, no portion of the CEWS subsidy needs to be repaid, and there is no upper limit to the claim amount.

Eligibility for the CEWS relies on dips in gross revenues. Such ebbs and flows are normal for most entities. By this measure, the only organizations that would not qualify for CEWS are those with consistent month over month revenue increases. This is not the norm for most of us.

There is no CEWS requirement to link the dips in revenues to COVID.

In my daily travels, I’ve discovered that even my ‘own’ dentist, florist, and local spa were unaware of the broad entryway for CEWS.

Even companies whose shareholders are the only people on payroll are eligible for CEWS. No additional staff needed.

CEWS payments are prompt, reaching the employers’ bank accounts within a week of filing the claims online.

For those employers who have not yet filed, claims for all open CEWS periods may be submitted at the same time. The CEWS program has been extended into autumn 2021.

Eligibility for the first iteration of the CEWS program was relatively simple, with a 30% monthly revenue drop required. ‘CEWS 2.0’ is more complex:

  • essentially three different, increasingly intricate versions of the CEWS program
  • deeming rules can entitle the employer to a ‘free’ month, regardless of revenue levels
  • pathways to claims that flow from specific elections can be made, without which, there would be no CEWS entitlement

As a bookkeeper with over two decades of experience, I can help you to access this funding from the Federal Government. I actively manage ongoing CEWS claims for a diverse range of businesses, including retail operations, service businesses, a restaurant, medical clinics, and community-based non-profit organizations.

The CEWS applications that I have crafted have yielded as much as $100,000 for a few clients. Many results are not this dramatic, but as I see it, small businesses should take advantage of every dollar of financial support available to them. When my clients consider how hard they work for their profits, and the costs normally associated with revenues, they acknowledge that even a CEWS boost of $10K, less my fees, is the net equivalent of $25K or more in sales.

Related to the complexity of CEWS, I come across instances in which busy bookkeepers, perhaps not having the time to understand the nuances of the program, are advising their clients that they do not qualify for CEWS. I recently ran the numbers for such an entity, and discovered that they qualify for 6 out of 8 of the currently ‘live’ CEWS periods! The claim totaled over $12K, the equivalent of an extra month of their sales.

In some cases, in-house finance departments simply do not have the resources and time to dig into the messy details of the program, and then generate the detailed calculations required to make CEWS claims. My role is to support those folks to maximize impact for the employer.

If you would like to know whether you qualify for CEWS, I require only:

  • monthly gross revenue totals for January 2020 on; and
  • monthly gross revenue totals for March 2019 on.

This normally takes less than 15 minutes for folks to gather for me.

Armed with your revenue info, I can determine whether your organization qualifies for CEWS. There is no charge for this exploratory work.

If the revenue test results in qualification for a CEWS claim, and you would like me to make a filing on your behalf, the fee for this work is 10% of the CEWS claim + GST, payable only once CRA has paid the subsidy to the employer.

In short:

  • The service costs nothing if your organization does not qualify for the CEWS
  • There are no upfront costs: you only pay me when you receive your CEWS subsidy
  • My fees include support with potential CRA reviews of CEWS claims, which are expected next year

Many of the clients I have helped to access CEWS funds had no idea that they even qualified in the first place. Don’t be left out: let’s look at your books!

Starting June 2021, we also offer assistance with Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP) claims. The employer must crunch the numbers for both programs, as they are required to claim the higher of the two subsidies.

Contact me at to schedule a time for a detailed conversation. All work is done remotely from my Fraser Valley BC desk.

Click here for a look at my blog covering the high points of all federal COVID programs for businesses and community-based organizations as they evolve.

Click here for an excellent article laying out how very FEW employers WON’T qualify for the CEWS. I love the title: CEWS Eligibility has Exploded — are you missing out?

Let’s Connect

Stacey Corriveau

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