Applications for the private sector are closed. Private sector employers who have questions or concerns about their existing applications can contact the Critical Worker Benefit Program at [email protected].

The Critical Worker Benefit provides a one-time payment of $1,200 to eligible Albertans in recognition of their hard work to provide Albertans with the care and critical services they need.

Critical Worker Benefit funding infographic (PDF, 32 KB)

Read the list of employers approved to receive the Critical Worker Benefit (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Final numbers on the amount of money spent and the number of workers who received a benefit will be made available once we have finished distributing funds to eligible workers.

Application status

Application period for phase 2 closed September 17.

Ministry responsible

Labour and Immigration

Check the status of your application

After you have submitted your application, your application will appear on the main page of the Private Sector Application Portal in 'Received' status. Check the main page for further updates on the status of your application.

Private Sector Application Portal

Read the application guidelines for the private sector for more information.

After you have applied

Employers can expect to receive a decision on their applications a minimum of 4 weeks after applying. If your application is approved, funds will be deposited to the bank account provided on the application. It could take up to 2 weeks after approval for the funds to be deposited.

If an employer’s application has been declined, the employer has 10 days from the date of the decline decision to seek reconsideration through the application portal by clicking on the ‘Request Reconsideration’ button that displays based on that decision. This button disappears after 10 days and the opportunity for reconsideration is no longer available. Reconsideration is not available to employers who were approved and have a combination of approved and declined employees.

Private Sector Application Portal

Approved applicants will receive funds via electronic fund transfer directly into the employer’s bank account. It could take up to two weeks after approval for the funds to be deposited. Ensure the banking information provided at the time of application is accurate to avoid payment delays.

Note: employers will receive an amount equivalent to the $1,200 per eligible worker, plus funding to help offset their expenses related to EI and CPP contributions.

The Critical Worker Benefit is a taxable benefit and must be declared on your annual returns. Questions around employer contributions and tax implications should be directed to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Applications will be assessed on a first completed, first approved basis. Applications with incomplete or incorrect information will experience a delay in processing.

The applicant may be contacted by a program advisor for more information to complete the review. Please pay close attention to requests for information in the CWB Portal. If the information is not received within 7 business days of the request for information, the application will be declined.

Do not submit multiple applications for the same employees, this will cause further processing and assessment delays.

Audit and compliance

All applications and corresponding grants are subject to a potential audit by the Government of Alberta, or their authorized representatives, upon reasonable notice to the recipient.

Any audit process would encompass taking copies and extracts of the records and books of account maintained by the recipient in accordance with eligible criteria outlined in the Eligibility Criteria section of the program guidelines.

If records or accounts are deemed inadequate to permit a determination of eligibility, repayment of the grant funding by the recipient will be required.

Phase 1

Phase 1 closed March 19, 2021. This information is provided for your reference.

In the first phase of the Critical Worker Benefit, eligible workers included workers in the public health-care, social services, education sectors and those in the private sector who delivered critical basic services to Albertans, or supported food and medical supply chains.

Phase 2

Applications for the private sector for phase 2 closed September 17, 2021. This information is provided for your reference.

In the second phase of the Critical Worker Benefit, eligible workers included workers in the social services and private sectors who provided critical services to Albertans, were essential to the supply and movement of goods, and had a potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their work environments.

Read the application guidelines for the private sector for more information.

Social services, social services workers

The Government of Alberta will contact social services sector employers to gather information and coordinate the distribution of the benefit to eligible workers. Due to high volumes, it will take time to gather information and process payments.

Disability services employers have been sent information on how to apply for the benefit and have until December 13, 2021 to submit applications to the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Child care employers will be sent information on how to apply from the Ministry of Children’s Services.

Seniors and Housing will contact seniors-serving organizations and housing providers to gather information and coordinate the distribution of the benefit to eligible workers.

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