Federal figures on COVID-19 aid provide window into who needed the help

cerb

Newly released data on emergency COVID-19 aid shows that some of the country's highest income earners used a key benefit for workers.

The $2,000-a-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit paid out just over $81.6 billion in benefits to 8.9 million people from March until it ended at the start of October.

The CERB was available to anyone who had made at least $5,000 in the preceding 12 months, and whose income crashed because of the pandemic, either from a drop in hours or being unable to work.

It was predominantly used by people who earned under $47,630 in 2019, figures from the Canada Revenue Agency show, but those higher up the income ladder also applied for the aid program.

The CRA numbers show that at least 114,620 people who earned between about $100,000 and $200,000 last year applied for the CERB.

 A further 14,070 people who had made more than $210,000 applied for the benefit.