Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Starting on Monday, April 6, 2020 you will be able to apply for the CERB. Below is details on what the program entities and how the Canadian government is helping.

Who can apply

The CERB will be available to workers:

  • residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits;
  • who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period.

The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: 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 Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work and are not earning employment or self-employment income as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you have not stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.

Once you apply, you can expect to get your payment in 3 business days if you have signed up for direct deposit, and approximately 10 business days if you haven’t signed up for direct deposit.

If your situation continues, you can re-apply for a payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods).

How to apply

Applications for the CERB will begin the week of Monday, April 6, 2020.

There are two ways to apply:

  • Online with CRA My Account
  • Over the phone with an automated phone service

After you apply

If you are eligible for the CERB, you can expect $2,000 ($500 per week) for a 4-week period.

It is a single payment for a 4-week period.

If your situation continues, you can re-apply for a payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods)

Note: These benefits are taxable and you will need to report any payments received on next year’s tax filing. An information slip will be made available for the 2020 tax year in My Account under Tax Information Slips (T4 and more).

Understand the payment periods

Each payment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) covers a 4-week period, beginning March 15, 2020. When you apply, it is for a single payment for the 4-week period. If your situation continues, you can apply for an additional 4-week period, up to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods in total).

All information has been taken from https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html

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