The government of Canada is ever-ready to help its people by providing them benefits. Now in the time of COVID-19, the federal Canadian government has announced Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) for those who have lost their jobs or are facing financial uncertainty during the coronavirus epidemic.
What is Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB)?
The Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB) is the taxable government payment meant to temporarily help those who are struggling with conditions that have resulted in the sudden loss of their income due to coronavirus pandemic.
This benefit offers $2000 per month and this amount is to be paid in four weeks which means $500 per week. The maximum period of this benefit would be paid for 16 weeks or 4 months. The CERB is available from 15 March to 3 October 2020 and no one can apply after 2 December 2020. These benefits will start within 10 days after you submit the application & there is no waiting period.
While these benefits are taxable this will not be deducted when it is paid to you. You must include CERB payment as your income while filing your tax for 2020.
Who all are eligible for CERB?
The following can apply for CERB benefits:
- If you are sick or quarantine due to COVID-19.
- If you were let go from the job and are eligible for employment insurance – regular or sickness benefits
- If you have your job but temporarily laid off and asked not to come for work.
- If you are self-employed and would not otherwise be eligible for employment insurance.
- If you are a contractor and would not otherwise be eligible for employment insurance.
- If you were let go from your job or your working hours have been reduced to zero or you don’t have any paid leave.
- If you are taking care of someone who has been infected by coronavirus.
- If you are a working parent who has to stay home without pay to take care of your child or other dependents.
Criteria to apply for CERB
The CERB benefits are only for those who have stopped working due to COVID-19.
If you are currently searching for a job then you are not eligible for this benefit or if you are a student who was working last year and is now planning on working this summer cannot apply for this benefit.
You must fulfill the following criteria to apply for CERB
- You should have a valid social insurance number
- You must reside in Canada and be at least 15 years old.
- You must have stopped working due to the reason of COVID-19
- You must have a $2000 income in 2019 or the 12 months before the date applying for CERB. This income can be from employment, self-employment, maternity/paternal benefits under the EI program.
Documents needed to be submitted
The following documents are required.
- Your valid social insurance number
- Your personal contact information
- You will need to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria for this benefit.
Canada Emergency Response Benefits Vs Employment Insurance.
If you have stopped working or lost your job due to coronavirus outbreak then you should apply for CERB whether you are eligible for EI or not.
On 6 April, the Federal Canadian government is starting a single online portal for the processing of CERB forms/applications until then if you have lost your job then you can apply for it. Additionally, you should continue to apply for your EI benefits like maternity leaves, paternal leaves, fishing, caregiving according to your situation/eligibility
Whether you receive EI or CERB depends on when you become eligible for EI.
- If you are already receiving your EI benefits then you will continue to receive them until the end of the benefit period.
- If you become eligible for EI on 15 March or later then your application will automatically be processed through CERB.
- If your EI benefits start before the second week of March (15 March) or end before 3 October then you can apply for CERB if you meet the eligibility criteria.
- If you are receiving maternity/paternal benefits and you cannot go back to work after you finish collecting them due to COVID-19 then you are eligible for CERB.
- After you stop receiving CERB you will continue to receive EI if you are eligible. Additionally, the period for which you received the CERB does not change your EI entitlement.
- If you have applied for EI but your request has not been processed yet then you do not need to reapply for the CERB – you will continue to receive EI advantages if you become eligible for them before March 15. If you become eligible after 15 March, your request/claim will automatically be processed under CERB.
You cannot be paid EI and CERB benefits for the same period.
When shall I apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefits
|If you were born in the month of
||Apply for CERB on
||Your best day to apply
|January, February, or March
|April, May, or June
|July, August, or September
|October, November, or December
||Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays