COVID-19: Eligible Canadians to Get $2000 Under Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Credit: Prime Minister’s Office

As part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the government is establishing Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) that will give eligible Canadians a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to four months.

The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

Update: Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, has received Royal Assent.

The government said that the CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.


Eligibility to receive $2000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The CERB would cover Canadians

  • who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined,
  • who are taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19,
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.
  • The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
  • Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.
  • All Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, would be able to receive the CERB to ensure they have timely access to the income support they need. This is because the EI system was unable to process the unprecedentedly high volume of applications received in the past week.

Can You Apply If You are Receiving EI

The government said that Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can apply for EI here.

  • If your EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, you could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19.
  • Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply.
  • Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.

How to Apply $2000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit

When can you apply: Those are eligible can apply as soon as the website/portal for accessing the CERB is ready. The applications will be open during the week of April 6 through CRA website.

What you can do now: Make sure your CRA My Account or My Service Canada Account is up to date. Register for direct deposit on CRA’s My Account for the quickest and most reliable way to get benefit and credit payments.

File your income tax and benefit return electronically before June 1, 2020 to make sure your benefits and credits are not interrupted.

When will you get the money: According to the news release, Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks (up to four months) and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

More Information

For all available benefits see here.

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