The federal government introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) on March 25 to assist those who have lost their income as a result of COVID-19. The new benefit is part of a rapidly-ballooning government aid package to help soften the economic blow of the pandemic.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new measure:

Who qualifies for the new benefit?

Anyone residing in Canada with a valid Social Insurance Number who is at least 15 years old and has lost their income for at least 14 days as a result of the pandemic. Eligible applicants must have had an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or 12 months prior to their application.

How much will I receive under the new benefit?  

Eligible Canadians will receive $500 per week, totalling $2,000 per month, for up to 16 weeks.

When does the benefit kick in?

Applications will be accepted beginning April 6. Payments will be dispersed within 10 days of a claim being made either through direct deposit or cheque.

How can I apply?

You can apply on the phone or through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website. The CRA has requested applicants apply on a specific day, based on the month the applicant was born. For example, if you were born in January, February, or March, apply on Mondays.

How long is the benefit available for?

The CERB will cover income lost between March 15 and Oct. 3, 2020.

Is CERB different than EI?

Yes. You cannot receive employment insurance and CERB payments at the same time. If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15 or later, the claim will be automatically processed through CERB. On April 6, there will be a single portal. Those who are currently receiving EI benefits will continue to receive payments until the benefit period is over.

Is the benefit taxable?

Yes. However, tax will not be deducted at source.

Are medical certificates required for the application?



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