Canada Emergency Response Benefit Posted on Apr 16, 2020

UPDATED April 16th

This benefit is available to workers which are defined as: A Canadian resident over 15 years of age that earned $5,000 in 2019 or 12 months before the application. 


The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada (includes work permits, international students etc), who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income. On April 15th announced - allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting CERB.

The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.

$5,000 - may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and now also non eligible dividend (dividend taken by small corproations)! The $5000 doesn’t have to be earned in Canada.

What if you have other income - You must have stopped working as a result of COVID-19 and be without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days within the initial four-week period. This includes income from paid leave, self-employment income or collection of any Employment Insurance benefits.

For subsequent periods, you must expect to have no employment income.

How much and for how long

Taxable $2000 monthly payment for up to 4 months. Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application or as quickly as 3 days if registered for a direct deposit. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

It is a single payment for a 4-week period. If your situatiom continues, you need to apply and confirm your eligibility again, every 4 weeks to a maximum of 16 weeks.

Understand the payment periods

Each payment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) covers a 4-week period, beginning March 15, 2020. When you apply, it is for a single payment for the 4-week period. If your situation continues, you can apply for an additional 4-week period, up to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods in total).

Apply through CRA my account or Over the phone with an automated phone service 1-800-959-2019
Best day to apply: If you were born in the first quarter of the year (April 6th), Second quarter (April 7th), Third quarter (April 8th), Forth quarter (April 9th).

What about EI?!

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. If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they 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.