Introducing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

March 25, 2020

GODERICH, ON – The government of Canada has announced a new benefit, called the Canada Emergency Response Benefit that will focus on delivering immediate financial support to Canadians affected by COVID-19. The portal for accessing CERB is expected to open in early April.

Background:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

  • This taxable benefit will provide $2,000 per month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for sick children at home, or because of school and daycare closures.
  • CERB will apply to wage earners, contract workers, and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
  • Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation because of COVID-19 will also qualify for the CERB. This will help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.
  • CERB will combine and replace the two benefits announced last week – the Emergency Support Benefit, and the Emergency Care Benefit

Employment Insurance

  • Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today will continue to receive their benefits and should not apply for the CERB. If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they can apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19.
  • Canadians who have applied to EI and whose application has not yet been processed do not need to reapply.
  • Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits are still able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.

Additional information on the Canada Emergency Support Benefit can be found at

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html