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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

What you need to know about Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Updated April 3rd, 2020 8:50 PM On March 25th, the Federal Government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to help workers and businesses. Here is what we know about the benefit so far:

1) It was one of several financial relief measures approved by the federal government under Canada's Economic Response Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2) The federal government's online portal application portal will be available to process applications as of April 6th, 2020.

3) You should receive your money within 3-5 days of your application.

4) In order to apply, you must have earned at least $5000 in declared income over the past 12 months and have suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19. This program is available to those who do not qualify for other paid leave programs, such as paid leave or other income support.

5) It is a taxable benefit of $2000/month for up to four months.

6) Self-employed workers also qualify for this program (as long as they meet the criteria in #4).

8) The CERB replaces the Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits, previously announced by Prime Minister Trudeau. The government has decided to make one simple program for those who don't qualify for EI.

9) If you are already receiving EI benefits, QPIP (in Quebec), or EI benefits for maternity, paternity, or parental leave in the rest of Canada, this is the program you apply for once your current benefits are finished.


In order to provide the best service possible, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has set up specific days Canadians can apply, based on your month of birth. As of April 6th, individuals without work due to a lay off or loss of income (including self-employed workers and those eligible for EI) can apply for the CERB. If you are eligible for EI and wish to apply over the weekend (before April 6th), you continue to use the current EI online service. To find out which day you can apply for the CERB, please consult the link below: Information on the CERB is constantly being updated. We will keep informed of the latest developments as they are communicated to us.

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