This is how CERB works for part-time employees in Canada
CERB for part-time employees is now a thing in Canada thanks to the federal government's efforts to ensure residents can continue to make ends meet until everyone can start getting back to work (and life) as usual.
Millions have taken advantage of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, which offers $2,000 a month for up to four months to those who have experienced job loss due to the novel coronavirus, but who may not be eligible for regular Employment Insurance.
Criteria for who exactly qualifies for the CERB was also just expanded this week to include part-time, self-employed, contract and seasonal workers, as well as other groups, like those who are still working but have fewer hours as a result of the health crisis, or who were on EI but have recently run out and now find themselves unable to secure a job.
Speaking in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces expanded eligibility for Canada Emergency Response Benefit.— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) April 15, 2020
Newly eligible groups include:
—people making $1000 or less per month
—people whose EI has run out since January 1#CERB #cdnpoli #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/bmDjewM8ln
Anyone who didn't voluntary quit their job and whose income has been reduced to less than $1,000 per month due to the pandemic (who meets other requirements, like having made at least $5,000 last fiscal year) is now able to receive a top-up of up to $2,000 from the government — including working students.
Trudeau listed off examples like part-time grocery store workers, contractors still able to do select jobs and volunteer firefighters as the demographics he hopes benefit from the wider criteria.
"We are continuing to listen to Canadians who are expressing that they are not getting the help they need, and we are constantly looking for ways to help them," he said at his daily COVID-19 press briefing on April 15.
Part time can get CERB if there hours for down to 0 because of covid or they decrease & their monthly pay is less than 1000. A student who works part time as of March 15 & lost that job or lost hours because of covid could apply. But usual students who work summers only do not.— Ken Smith (@kensmith_ken) April 18, 2020
Those who did not previously qualify for CERB but do under the new guidelines are now being directed to apply through the regular CERB online portal.
The government reiterates on its website that the newly-eligible "cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period" of their first claim, nor more than $1,000 in the entire four-week benefit period of subsequent claims.
Though many are relieved that financial aid is going to more Canadians, others have pointed out that the amount of money Ottawa is giving out to individuals is a lot, and perhaps still not going into the hands of the people who need it most.
My nephew is 17. Works part-time at Chuckie Cheese. Would never come close to making $2000 a month. Applied for EI when he was laid off, was shifted to CERB, now getting the full benefit. That’s almost what his mother brings home/month from her 45 hr/week essential work. Insane.— Jane Morleith (@JaneMorleith) April 18, 2020
Along with the CERB expansion, Trudeau also recently announced extra help (on top of the Canada Emergency Business Account) for small businesses, as well as for the energy, arts and sports sectors.
Essential frontline workers making less than $2,500 a month — such as those working in long-term care homes — will also see a wage increase due to how risky their jobs are at the moment.
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