Canada Emergency Response Benefit - What you need to know!

March 26, 2020

Recently the Prime Minister announced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This Benefit will be replacing the previously announced Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits and will provide temporary income support to workers who are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.

The CERB will be available to workers residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old, and who:

  • Have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the year prior to their application from any of a combination of the following sources: employment, self employment, Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits, and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP); and
  • Are without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in a four-week period, for reasons related to COVID-19, including if they have temporarily stopped working, lost their job, are sick or in quarantine, or need to care for a child or a family member.

The intent of this system is to streamline EI Sickness, EI Regular, and the Canada Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits into a single Canada Emergency Response Benefit for those impacted by COVID-19. As such, both EI and non-EI eligible individuals will be able to access this new Benefit. The new Benefit will provide a flat weekly amount of $500, paid in four week instalments for up to 16 weeks. This Benefit is available from March 15th, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

Workers will be able to apply online for the CERB starting early April 2020. As more details are available on the roll out of the CERB we will be sure to keep you up to date. Individuals who have already submitted claims under EI Regular or EI Sickness benefits due to COVID-19 with a start date of March 15 or later, and their claims have not yet been processed, will not have to reapply for this new benefit as their applications will be automatically rolled into the new system.

You may be interested in a flow chart that explains the difference between this program and EI for what would work best for you.

For more information, click here.

Please reach out if you can't find the answer to a question from the links above and my team and I will work on finding the answer for you. 

Take care.

We're all in this together and we will get through this together.