canada emergency response benefit

What you need to know about the Canada emergency response benefit application

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is for you if you're sick, quarantined, or unable to work due to COVID-19. If this sounds like your situation then you may be eligible — so here's what you need to know.

What is it?

The CERB is a taxable benefit for Canadians that have lost their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; it combines the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit that Trudeau previously announced into one package. 

The benefit will provide Canadians with $2,000 a month for up to four months.

Am I eligible?

If you've lost your job or are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, then you're eligible for CERB.

The benefits are also available for working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children, contract workers, and self-employed individuals who are not eligible for EI.

If you're employed but currently not receiving income due to work disruptions because of COVID-19, you are also eligible for CERB.

How do I apply?

The portal is expected to open on April 6. Canadians should begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application.

In the meantime, Canadians that have lost their jobs and are eligible for EI benefits can apply for funding here.

How is this different to Employment Insurance?

You can apply for both CERB and EI if you're sick, quarantined or have lost your job due to COVID-19. For both CERB and EI sickness benefits, you will recieve payments for approximately 16 weeks.

However, CERB will also apply to Canadians taking time off work to care for people sick with COVID-19, working parents that are forced to stay home, and self-employed or contracted individuals that are not eligible for EI.

You cannot apply for both CERB and EI sickness benefits simultaneously.

CERB was also put in place to help alleviate some of the stress put on the EI system, which was seeing an "unprecedented high volume of applications."

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau said, "We know that people are worried about their health, their jobs and their financial situations."

"Our government is doing whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and to support workers, families and businesses. Canadians can rest assured that the government stands ready to take any and all necessary actions."


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