Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

It is a benefit of $ 2,000 ($ 500 per week) for a 4-week period from March 15, 2020, until October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020. It is a single payment for each 4-week period you qualify for.

Who is eligible for the benefit?
The benefit is available to those:

  • residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019, and October 3, 2020;
  • who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $ 5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
  • who have not quit their job voluntarily.

When submitting your first claim, you 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 your claim.

When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.

Please note that If you are receiving a wage subsidy through your employer, you cannot receive the CERB for the same period. You cannot receive both.

. Who is not eligible?

  • If you were unemployed before March 15th or were employed but voluntarily quit your job, you are ineligible for CERB. For example, if you are a student who had a job last year and were planning on working this summer, you do not qualify for the benefit. You must have been receiving employment income or self-employment income that stopped because of Covid-19.
  • If you are already receiving EI benefits, you are ineligible for CERB.. However, if your EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, and you meet the eligibility requirements (including that you stopped work because of COVID-19), you can apply for CERB when your EI benefits end.
  • If you are on paid sick leave, you are NOT eligible for CERB.
  • If you are on special benefits such as maternity or parental leave, you are ineligible for CERB. However, if work is unavailable due to COVID-19 upon the conclusion of your maternity or parental leave, you may be eligible to apply for CERB.

Do I still need to apply if I have already applied for regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits?
No, if you have already applied for regular EI, you will automatically be transitioned to the CERB.

Can international students or individuals on work permits apply for the CERB?
They may be eligible to receive the CERB if they meet other eligibility requirements.

Do I need to be laid off to access the CERB?
No. Workers who remain attached to their company can receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if they meet the eligibility requirements.

How can I determine whether I’m eligible or not?
Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Were you working (either as an employee or self-employment) until March 15, 2020?
    • If yes, then proceed to the next question. If not, then you may not be eligible.
  • If you were working, did you stop working because of reasons related to Covid-19?
    • If yes, then proceed to the next question. If not, then you may not be eligible.
  • If you stopped working because of reasons related to Covid-19, did you have employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application?
    • If yes, then proceed to the next question. If not, then you may not be eligible.
  • If you had an income of at least 5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of your application, did you earn $ 1,000 or less in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim?
    • If yes, you are eligible for the CERB. If not, then you may not be eligible.

How to apply?
There are two ways to apply:

  1. Online with CRA My Account https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html
    Instructions once you have access to CRA My Account:
    • Confirm they have the correct direct deposit information
    • Attest that you qualify for the benefit
    • Select the period you want to apply for
    • Go to COVID-19: Canada Emergency Response Benefit in the alert banner at the top of the page
  2. Over the phone with Service Canada using an automated phone service – telephone number: 1 800 959 2019 or 1 800 959 2041​
If the federal government determines that someone received an income support payment for which they did not qualify, they will have to repay that amount as soon as they can.
The repayment amount will be determined by the government. No interest payments would be charged on the amount owed.

For more information about the benefit, please click here.


Should you have questions about any of the above or to discuss your personal tax situation, please call or send us a message on WhatsApp at +1-905-507-0032 or contact us through our website or Facebook Page.

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