On March 25, 2020 the federal government passed Bill C-13, An Act Respecting Certain Measures in Response to COVID-19. The Bill includes the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) which is in essence a combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit. The CERB provides for a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months payable every 4 weeks from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
Who is Eligible?
Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who either:
- Must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support;
- Are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
- Are working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures; or
- Still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work
Already Receiving EI Regular & Sickness Benefit?
- As of March 25, 2020, employees will continue to receive benefits and should NOT apply
- If EI benefits end before October 3, 2020 employees may still apply for the CERB AFTER their EI ceases
Already Applied for EI & Application Not Yet Been Processed?
- Employees DO NOT need to reapply for EI
Payment processing will be through a Canada Revenue portal to be established and is expected to be available the week of April 6, 2020 and payments are expected to be made within 10 days of application.