April 03, 2020

Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers (IPREW)

The Québec government has announced a new financial assistance program for individuals working essential jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The assistance amount will make up the difference between the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and an eligible individual’s wages. Eligible workers can apply for the program online beginning on May 19. The program provides $100 for each week of qualifying work beginning March 15, 2020, and extending for a maximum of 16 weeks. This means that, in addition to their wages, a worker could receive a taxable benefit of $400 per month, for a total of $1,600 for the full 16-week period. Payments will be made every two weeks starting on May 27, 2020.


To be eligible under the program, you must:

  • work part-time or full-time in one of the essential service sectors during the program period;
  • receive gross wages of $550 or less per week;
  • have an annual employment income of at least $5,000;
  • have a total annual income of no more than $28,600;
  • be at least 15 years old when you apply for assistance under the IPREW; and
  • have been resident in Québec on December 31, 2019, and plan to reside in Québec throughout 2020.

To receive this assistance for a given week covered by the program, you must not have received amounts under the CERB or the temporary aid for workers program for that same week. Note that you are eligible for the program even if your employer receives assistance through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

How to apply for assistance as an eligible worker

You can apply for the IPREW online in the period from May 19 to November 15, 2020.

To apply:

  • Register online now for:
    • My Account for individuals,
    • direct deposit (if you are already registered, make sure the banking information on file is up to date).
  • Starting May 19, 2020, use our Apply for the Incentive Program to Retain Essential Workers online service. Note that the first payment will be made on May 27, 2020.



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