Being in isolation can be lonely; it can also set you back financially. One central Alberta teen fears she might need to quarantine for a third time but she won’t get the government support she needs to pay her bills.
The first time she applied for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, a federal program for Canadians unable to work because they have to quarantine due to COVID-19.
As a part-time employee, she got her $900 for the two weeks but not even a month later, she was forced to go back into isolation due to another close contact at school.
“The whole class was in self-isolation and that’s when I started going through the process of applying the first time and then the second time that’s when I found out I wasn’t eligible for any more benefits,” Crowe said.
According to the government of Canada’s website, the CRSB program only provides money for a max of two weeks. Facing a dead end there, she applied for other programs but was not eligible.
“Every time she has to self-isolate it costs me and my husband about $900 to $1,000 to kind of help her out with her bills, which is fine but it’s still a burden on us,” Hayley’s mother Naomi Crowe said.
With some Albertans now not able to leave the house for up to 24 days if they are confirmed with a COVID-19 variant case, government support is even more important.
Global News reached out to Alberta Health to find out what provincial supports are available.
Aside from the province’s free hotels for those who can’t safely isolate at home, Albertans needing financial support are simply directed to the federal government.
A response Hayley says she received after also reaching out to the province and the federal government for answers.
“This is a real issue because I’m really concerned because I still have a whole other semester, like realistically I’ll probably be in isolation at least one more time,” Hayley said.
“I’m shocked that you have to legally stay home and self isolate but not get paid,” her mother said.
Hayley says she would like to see CRSB payments extended in the event she has to quarantine a third time.