cerb extended

Canada just announced the CERB will be extended by another 4 weeks

The federal government just extended the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by an additional four weeks, taking the program to the end of September for many people.

The taxable benefit that provides eligible Canadians with $2,000 each month will be extended to a total of 28 weeks, per an Aug. 20 update from the federal government.

The four-week extension is estimated to cost taxpayers an additional $8 billion.

Canadians who exhaust their benefit will then be transitioned to "a more flexible and generous EI program" that will provide a taxable benefit rate of at least $400 per week for 26 weeks.

Canadians that don't qualify for EI can also apply for three new, additional benefits.

The Canada Recovery Benefit will provide $400 per week for up to 26 weeks over a one-year period, to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and unemployed.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit will provide $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for:

  • a child under age 12 due to the closures of schools or daycares because of COVID-19
  • a family member with a disability or a dependent because their day program or care facility is closed due to COVID-19
  • a child, a family member with a disability, or a dependent who is not attending school, daycare, or other care facilities under the advice of a medical professional due to being at high-risk if they contract COVID-19

There are currently around four million Canadians still receiving the CERB. Of those, around three million are expected to transition to EI and one million to the other benefits, government officials said.

The expected cost to taxpayers will be $7 billion for the planned modifications to the EI program and $22 billion for the new benefit programs, the officials added.

Lead photo by

Bruce Mars

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