Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 crisis has brought with it much uncertainty for many Canadians. People are worried about their health, livelihoods and managing through this unprecedented event which can make already challenging financial circumstances harder.

But there is help available. Our prime minister is working to help ensure that resources are available for Canadians during this time and many provinces and cities are working hard to follow suit.

“No matter where you live, what you do, or who you are, you will get the support you need during this time,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The federal government is putting money into the economy that’s meant to flow directly to you. The plan is to help Canadians put food in the fridge as well as pay rents and mortgages. They are also giving financial breaks to businesses, which might benefit you as a worker or a business owner.

Here's what you can be Eligible for:

There are fewer restrictions to getting EI now in order to help you manage through sickness, quarantine, job loss or the need to stay home and look after children. The government is waiving the one-week waiting period for those who are in imposed quarantine and waiving the requirement to have a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.

The government is also introducing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which provides $2,000 a month for 4 months for Canadians who are affected by COVID-19, either due to self-isolation or layoffs and did not receive a salary. It is available starting April 6 through a new online portal and funds will be paid within 10 days of application. The applicable period is between March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020.

You can gain access through MyCRA on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

If applying over the phone, you can call the automated toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019. This is a dedicated line for CERB applications. Before you call, please ensure you have your social insurance number and postal code handy to verify your identity and make the process as efficient as possible.

Both services will be available 21 hours a day, seven days a week. Both services are closed from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. ET for maintenance.

Applicants will need to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria, and information that you provide during the application process may be verified later.

CRA benefits