What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

If you stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.


How to apply

We will start accepting applications on April 6. Prior to April 6, individuals who are without work and are eligible for EI can continue to apply for Employment Insurance.

Important! If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance, find out how you can get ready to apply for the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency.

Whether you apply online or by phone, the CRA wants to provide the best service possible to everyone. To help manage this, the CRA has set up specific days for you to apply. Please use the following guidelines:

Day to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
If you were born in the month of Apply for CERB on Your best day to apply
January, February or March Mondays April 6
April, May, or June Tuesdays April 7
July, August, or September Wednesdays April 8
October, November, or December Thursdays April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays  

 

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If you wish to learn more about your elegibility to one of these programs, RGB Accounting is offering 15′ phone advisory for free. To book your call, click here!


Eligibility

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.

The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.


If you wish to learn more about your elegibility to these benefits, RGB Accounting is offering 15′ phone advisory for free to guide you about your options. To book your call, click HERE!


Questions and answers

What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.
The new Canada Emergency Response 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 is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020.

How do I know whether to apply for EI benefits or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, whether or not you are eligible for Employment Insurance. The Benefit is available for the period from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020.
Starting April 6, 2020, there will be a single portal to assist you with the application process.
Until then, Canadians who are eligible for Employment Insurance and who have lost their job can continue to apply for Employment Insurance.
If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
In addition, for other EI benefits, including maternity, parental, caregiving, fishing and worksharing, you should also continue to apply.

When can I apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

Starting April 6, 2020, you can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
Until then, Canadians who are eligible for Employment Insurance and who have lost their job can continue to apply for Employment Insurance.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits:
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.

The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.
For example if you are a student who had a job last year and were planning on working this summer you do not qualify for the benefit.

Under what circumstances can I apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is available to those who stop working for reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits. Examples of stopping to work could include but are not limited to:

  • You have been let go from your job or your hours have been reduced to zero;
  • You are in quarantine or sick due to COVID-19;
  • You are away from work to take care of others because they are in quarantine, sick due to COVID-19; and/or
  • You are away from work to take care of children or other dependents whose care facility is closed due to COVID-19.

You cannot quit your job voluntarily.

No. You only need to complete an online application.

Do I need a medical certificate to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if I am in quarantine or sick from COVID-19?
Do I need to be laid off to access the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

No. Workers who remain attached to their company can receive the Benefit.
You must have stopped working as a result of COVID-19, and be without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period. For subsequent periods, you expect to have no employment income.
You can also apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits.

Where can I apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

The portal for accessing this new benefit will launch on April 6. Applicants will be able to apply for the benefit retroactively to March 15, 2020.
Pending the launch of the portal, individuals who are without work and are eligible for Employment Insurance can continue to apply for Employment Insurance.

How much could I receive through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

The Benefit, in the amount of $2,000, will be paid in blocks of four weeks. This is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid.
The Benefit is taxable although tax will not be deducted at source. You will be expected to report the Benefit as income when you file your income tax for the 2020 tax year.

Can I have other income while receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

You must have stopped working as a result of COVID-19 and be without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period. This includes income from paid leave, self-employment income or collection of any Employment Insurance benefits.
For subsequent periods, you must expect to have no employment income.
You can also apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits.
Provided it is allowed in your province or territory, you may also receive provincial or territorial support payments at the same time you receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Can you receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you are not a citizen or permanent resident?

To be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, you must reside in Canada and have a valid Social Insurance Number.
Workers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents – including temporary foreign workers and international students – may be eligible to receive the Benefit if they meet the other eligibility requirements.

Does the minimum income of $5,000 have to be earned in Canada?

No. The income does not have to be earned in Canada, but you need to reside in Canada.

When and how will I receive my Canada Emergency Response Benefit payment? Is there a waiting period?

Benefits will start within 10 days of you submitting an application. There is no waiting period.
Payments will be made through direct deposit or by cheque. You will be paid more quickly if you choose direct deposit.
[Your payments will be retroactive to your eligibility date]

Do I need to provide any documentation when I apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

You will need to provide your personal contact information, your Social Insurance Number and confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements.
You may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify your eligibility at a future date.

If I am already receiving Employment Insurance regular benefits, should I reapply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

No. If you are already receiving Employment Insurance regular benefits, you will continue to receive these benefits until the end of your benefit period.
If you were eligible to Employment Insurance benefits that started before March 15, 2020, and these benefits end before October 3, 2020, you may then apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you meet the eligibility requirements, including that you have stopped work because of reasons related to COVID-19.
You cannot be paid Employment Insurance benefits and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the same period.

I have applied for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits, but my claim hasn’t been processed yet, do I need to reapply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

No.
If you became eligible for Employment Insurance prior to March 15th, your claim will be processed under the pre-existing Employment Insurance rules.
If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15th or onward, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
Service Canada is processing all of these claims as quickly as possible.

If I would be entitled to more than the $500 per week under Employment Insurance, will I get the higher amount?

No. When you apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, you will receive $500 per week, regardless of what you may have been eligible to receive through Employment Insurance.
However, you retain your eligibility to receive for Employment Insurance after you stop receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and the period that you received the CERB does not impact your EI entitlement.

If I would have been entitled to less than the $500 per week under Employment Insurance, will I get the $500?

No. When you apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, you will receive $500 per week, regardless of what you may have been eligible to receive through Employment Insurance.
However, you retain your eligibility to receive for Employment Insurance after you stop receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and the period that you received the CERB does not impact your EI entitlement.

If I would have been entitled to less than the $500 per week under Employment Insurance, will I get the $500?

Yes. When you apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, you will receive $500 per week, regardless of what you may have been eligible to receive through Employment Insurance.

What if I stopped working before March 15th but only applied for Employment Insurance after March 15th – which benefit will I receive?

If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits prior to March 15th, your claim will be processed under the pre-existing Employment Insurance rules.

Report a problem or mistake on this page

It is expected that you will return to work when you are finished collecting maternity/parental or other special benefits under the Employment Insurance Program.
If work is not available as a result of reasons related to COVID-19 upon conclusion of your maternity/parental leave, you may be eligible to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

 

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