Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
COVID-19 – Government income support and benefits

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: July 13, 2022


COVID‑19 – Government income support and benefits refers to the sum of benefits from various new and existing federal, provincial, and territorial programs intended to provide financial support to individuals affected by the COVID‑19 pandemic and the public health measures implemented to minimize the spread of the virus.

For the 2021 Census, the reference period for income data is the calendar year 2020, unless otherwise specified.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 (100% data).

Reported for

Population aged 15 years and over in private households

Question number(s)

Variable derived based on administrative tax and benefit records received from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Positive dollar value or nil


See 'Remarks' under total income.

This variable consists of the followings:

All the components of this variable, with the exception of COVID‑19 – Enhancements to existing federal programs, are included in the Government transfers not included elsewhere category of the income sources classification.

For additional information about COVID‑19 benefits, data collection method, coverage, reference period, concepts, data quality and intercensal comparability of the income data, please refer to the Income Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.

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