Canada Emergency Response Benefit

COVID-19 Updates & Resources

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a new benefit will combine the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.  This benefit is for people who have stopped working or are working greatly reduced hours because of COVID-19.

This benefit is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid.  The benefit payments are available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020, and you can apply no later than December 2, 2020.

Eligibility

  • Canadian residents 15 years or older who have earned $5000 in income over the past 12 months
  • Includes the self-employed, contractors, and part-time workers
  • You have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits
  • You are working greatly reduced hours due to COVID-19 and earning up to $1000 per month
  • Seasonal workers who cannot find a job now due to COVID-19
  • Workers receiving EI benefits which have run out since January 1st and cannot find work due to COVID-19
  • You are or expect to earn no more than $1000 income in the four-week period you apply for (includes income from paid leave, self-employment income or EI benefits.)
  • You have not quit your job voluntarily

Relationship to Employment Insurance (EI)

  • If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits prior to March 15th, your claim will be processed under the pre-existing EI rules. Otherwise, you will automatically be processed through the CERB
  • If you are already receiving EI regular benefits, you will continue to receive these benefits until the end of your benefit period, which if it ends before October 3, 2020, you may then apply for the CERB
  • You retain your eligibility to receive EI after you stop receiving the CERB and the period that you received the CERB does not impact your EI entitlement

Applying (click here for application info)

  • Applications opened on April 6 either by automated phone system or online
  • You will need a CRA My Account to apply online
  • If you want direct deposit, you will need to ensure that information is registered with the CRA in advance through CRA My Account
  • The government has set up guidelines on when to apply in anticipation of significant application volumes:

    If you were born in the month of
                Apply for CERB on
    January, February or March                  Mondays
    April, May, or June                                Tuesdays
    July, August, or September                   Wednesdays
    October, November, or December         Thursdays
    Any month                                             Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

More information and details are available from the Government of Canada online here