COVID-19 Tip #1: Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Note: The following information is based on the guidance provided by the federal government. For further details see the government’s backgrounder and Qs & As.

How much is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?

$2,000 every four weeks. (Note: This is a taxable benefit. That means that you will have to report the CERB as income when you file your taxes for the 2020 tax year.)

Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

  • have stopped working due to COVID-19;
  • be without (or expect to be without) any income from employment or self-employment for at least 14 consecutive days during the initial 4-week period;
  • be at least 15 years of age and resident in Canada; and
  • have a total income of at least $5000 in 2019 or the preceding 12-month period from employment, self-employment, maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.

The CERB is also available to workers who, after March 15, are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits.

How does the CERB work?

Provided that you continue to meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for 4 weeks at a time, for up to a maximum of 16 weeks (or 4 periods).

The CERB is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. Applications must be made by December 2, 2020.

How do I apply?

Applications open on April 6, 2020 here.

If you were born in the month of Apply for CERB on Your best day to apply
January, February or March Mondays April 6
April, May, or June Tuesdays April 7
July, August, or September Wednesdays April 8
October, November, or December Thursdays April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

(Note: If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, you can apply for CERB whether or not you are eligible for Employment Insurance, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements.)

Where can I find more information on financial support?

Check out the federal government’s Coronavirus information page and in particular, financial support for individuals.

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