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Are you eligible for the $1200 Critical Worker Benefit?

FUNDING

Through the Critical Worker Benefit, the Government of Alberta will distribute up to $465 million in funding to eligible workers. This includes up to $118 million in provincial funds, in addition to $347 million from the federal government’s benefit program for low-wage critical workers.

Eligible workers in the health care, social services, education and private sectors will receive a $1,200 benefit distributed through their employers.

Applications from private sector employers will be accepted starting on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Private sector employers have until Friday, March 19, 2021 to apply for the benefit on behalf of their eligible employees.

ELIGIBILITY

The Critical Worker Benefit is available to workers in the public health-care, social services, education sectors and those in the private sector who deliver critical basic services to Albertans, or support food and medical supply chains.

PUBLIC SECTOR

Critical workers in the following public sectors are eligible to receive the Critical Worker Benefit:

HEALTHCARE WORKERS

To be eligible for the benefit, health-care workers must:

• have worked a minimum of 300 hours during the period of October 12, 2020 to January 31, 2021 for the same employer
• work in continuing care, acute care, addictions and mental health, homecare or hospice care
• be located and working in Alberta

Private sector health-care employers must apply for the Critical Worker Benefit on behalf of their employees.

Eligible public sector health workers, such as Alberta Health Services employees, will receive the benefit through their employer.

Eligible occupations

Examples of health-care occupations that are eligible to receive the benefit include:

• orderlies and patient service associates
• respiratory therapists and technologists
• nurses (RNs, RPNs, LPNs)
• food services
• housekeeping and maintenance
• unit clerks

HEALTHCARE WORKERS IN FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES

Eligible health-care employees working in First Nations communities can receive the benefit. Employers must apply for the benefit on behalf of their workers.

Additional details regarding eligibility will be available on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

SOCIAL SERVICES WORKERS

To be eligible for the benefit, social services workers must:

• have worked a minimum of 300 hours during the period of October 12, 2020 to January 31, 2021
• be operating in one of the following workplaces: 
• children service providers
• community service providers
• be located and working in Alberta

Eligible occupations

The following social services occupations are eligible to receive the benefit if they meet the above criteria:

• disability service workers and instructors of persons with disabilities
• social and community service workers
• home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations
• personal care aides
• shelter and crisis intervention workers
• child development workers and assistants
• early childhood educators (minimum 243 hours)
• family and youth counsellors
• home support workers
• bus drivers and other transport workers supporting clients
• food services, including cooks, attendants, and kitchen helpers
• housekeeping, cleaners, janitors and caretakers

SOCIAL SERVICES WORKERS IN FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES

Eligible social services employees working in First Nations communities can receive the benefit. Employers must apply for the benefit on behalf of their workers.

Additional details regarding eligibility will be available on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

EDUCATION WORKERS

To be eligible for the benefit, education workers must:

• have worked a minimum of 300 paid hours for a provincial school authority or a contractor with a provincial school authority, between October 12, 2020 and January 31, 2021

Hours are for paid work and may include some virtual or online work where the work was performed with students.

The minimum number of paid hours (300) will be prorated for periods of time when schools were required to be closed.

As each school district had different dates when schools were closed, minimum hour prorations will be calculated on a case-by-case basis for individual school authorities.

Eligible occupations

The following education occupations are eligible to receive the benefit if they meet the above criteria:

• educational or teacher assistants
• bus drivers
• custodians and janitors
• school secretarial staff-related positions 

EDUCATION WORKERS IN FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES

Eligible education employees working in First Nations communities can receive the benefit. Employers must apply for the benefit on behalf of their workers.

Additional details regarding eligibility will be available on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

PRIVATE SECTOR

Private sector employers must apply on behalf of their eligible employees. For more information, read the ‘How to apply’ section below. The application intake period will begin on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 and closes on Friday, March 19, 2021.

To be eligible for the Critical Worker Benefit, private sector workers must:

• earn $25 per hour or less
• have worked at least 300 hours between the period of October 12, 2020 and January 31, 2021
• be located and working in Alberta

The Critical Worker Benefit program application guidelines will include more information on eligibility. These guidelines will be available on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

Workers listed in the following private sectors are eligible to receive the Critical Worker Benefit:

Retail – Grocery, Pharmacy, Gas, Health, and Personal Care

• store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers
• cashiers
• retail sales supervisors
• pharmacy assistants
• material handlers
• shipper and receivers
• purchasing and inventory control workers
• storekeepers and parts persons
• retail butchers and meat cutters
• security staff
• other customer and information services representatives
• other sales-related occupations
• cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
• food counter attendants and kitchen helpers
• bakers
• service station attendants

Food Manufacturing

• process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated products processing
• industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
• labours in food, beverage and associated products processing
• material handlers
• shipper and receivers
• cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
• other service support occupations
• testers and graders, food, beverage and associates

Truck Transportation

• transport truck drivers
• supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit
• cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
• security staff
• receptionists
• material handlers
• delivery and courier services drivers
• other trades helpers and labourers

 Warehousing and Storage

• shippers and receivers
• cleaners, janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
• storekeepers and parts persons
• security staff
• purchasing and inventory control workers
• other trades helpers and labourers
• transportation route and crew schedulers

Private sector workers in First Nations communities

Eligible private sector employees working in First Nations communities can receive the benefit. Employers must apply for the benefit on behalf of their workers.

Additional details regarding eligibility will be available on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

HOW TO APPLY

Public Sector – No need to apply

Eligible public sector workers do not need to apply to the Critical Worker Benefit. The Government of Alberta is working directly with public sector employers to distribute the benefit to eligible workers.

The Critical Worker Benefit program application guidelines will be available on Wednesday, February 17.

Private Sector – How to apply

Important Private sector employers must apply on behalf of their eligible employees using the application portal. The application portal will launch on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

Deadline Applications will be accepted starting on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Employers have until Friday, March 19, 2021 to apply.

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