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When CERB payments end for millions of people in Canada this is what happens next

CERB payments comes to an end for millions of Canadians in just a few weeks as the government has not yet committed to extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

July 4 marks the end of the first 16 weeks of CERB, meaning those who've been claiming it since the application first opened in April will soon have to find other ways to keep afloat during the pandemic.

Millions more will be in that same position on August 1, which is the next expiry date for the 16-week benefit. 

There's been talk in Ottawa of extending CERB  (which would cost the Canadian government about $57 billion) but conversations around fines and possible jail time for fraudulent CERB claims have taken centre stage instead. 

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau touched briefly on the fact that the government is looking at the issue internally earlier this week, but there's been no updates yet about an official extension. 

That means eligible CERB applicants who have been receiving $2,000 every four weeks and who are still unemployed will either have to find a job before July, or transition to EI instead. 

However, not everyone who qualified for CERB will qualify for the federal Employment Insurance program. 

In order to be eligible, you must have worked between 420 and 700 hours before applying, depending on your situation. And those who are self-employed will not be able to receive benefits through EI at all. 

That means those whose CERB ends on July 4 will have to wait and hope that the government rolls out an extension in the next few weeks.

Lead photo by

Hean Prinsloo


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