In response to the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in job losses and financial uncertainty for Canadians countrywide, the Government of Canada has provided emergency relief packages to Canadians under the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit-CERB program to help those affected over the next few months.
What is the CERB?
The CERB is a taxable government payment that will assist Canadians including foreign students who have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, with a support of $ 2000 per month for up to 16 weeks.
The program will begin accepting applications on April 6, and offers $2000 per month and is paid in blocks of 4-week period, which amounts to $500 a week for a maximum of 16 weeks.
The CERB will be paid retroactive from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than Dec. 2, 2020. Your payments will be retroactive to your eligibility date.
Who can apply for the CERB?
You can apply for the CERB if you:
- are living in Canada, 15 years of age or older, have a valid social insurance number – SIN
- have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance – regular or sickness benefits;
People who have stopped working include:
- who were let go from your job, your hours have been reduced to zero and you do not have paid leave or other income support
- still have your job but have been temporarily laid off and asked not to come to work
- are quarantined or sick due to COVID-19
- are taking care of someone who is under quarantined and sick of COVID-19
- are a working parent who has to stay home, without pay, to care for your children or other dependents due to closure of schools or care facility
- are self-employed or contractor and would not otherwise qualify for employment insurance (EI)
- Had a minimum income of $ 5000 in 2019 or within the past 12 months. This includes self-employed, self-employed, non-discriminatory international students, foreign workers, permanent residents or Canadian citizens.
The minimum income of $ 5000 required may come from any or a combination of sources from employment; self-employed; or maternity or parental leave employment insurance benefits
- Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period.
This support is only for people who have stopped working and have no income from employment or self-employed business because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are still working, you will not receive this support. You will not qualify if you voluntarily quit your job.
After applying, you can expect to receive payment within 3 working days if you have registered for direct deposit to your account or within 10 working days if you have not registered for direct deposit.
If your situation continues, you can re-apply for an additional 4-week period, to a maximum of 16 weeks.
HOW TO APPLY?
You can apply online from:
• your CRA My Account
• your My Service Canada Account
• or by phone at 1-800-959-2019.
Before you make the call, you need to have your SIN and postal code of the address where you reside.
The services are available to accept applications 21 hours a day, 7 days a week between 6 am and 3 am the next day. From 3 am to 6 am, the system is closed for maintenance.
WHEN TO APPLY?
The CRA has set up specific dates for you to apply based on the month you were born in.
|If you were born in the month of||Apply for CERB on||Your best day to apply|
|January, February or March||Mondays||April 6|
|April, May, or June||Tuesdays||April 7|
|July, August, or September||Wednesdays||April 8|
|October, November, or December||Thursdays||April 9|
|Any month:||Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays|
AFTER YOU APPLY
If you are eligible for CERB, you will receive a single payment of $ 2000 ($ 500 per week) for a 4-week period, starting from March 15, 2020.
If your situation continues, you can re-apply for an additional 4-week period, up to 16 weeks.
And so every 4 weeks you will continue to apply for up to 16 weeks (4 periods in total).
IF I AM RECEIVING EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE SHOULD I APPLY FOR CERB?
No. If you are already receiving Employment Insurance regular benefits, you will continue to receive these benefits until the end of your benefit period.
If you were eligible to Employment Insurance benefits that started before March 15, 2020, and these benefits end before October 3, 2020, you may then apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you meet the eligibility requirements, including that you have stopped work because of reasons related to COVID-19.
You cannot be paid Employment Insurance benefits and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the same period.
If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits prior to March 15th, your claim will be processed under the pre-existing Employment Insurance rules.
If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15th or onward, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. However, you retain your eligibility to receive for Employment Insurance after you stop receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and the period that you received the CERB does not impact your EI entitlement.
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