The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) is replacing the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit programs.
- This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 per month, for up to four months, to workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April.
- Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
- Canadians who are eligible for Employment Insurance (“EI”) regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.
People are eligible for the CERB if one of the following situations corresponds to them:
- Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
- Wage earners including contract workers and self-employed individuals, who would not otherwise be eligible for EI.
- Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB.
- Canadians whose EI benefits will end before October 3, 2020 and who are still unable to return to work due to COVID-19, become eligible for the CERB once the EI benefits cease.
Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, would be able to receive the CERB.
Individuals who are currently receiving EI regular and sickness benefits would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply.
EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI by following the link identified below, as can Canadians applying for other EI benefits.