The following information provided by the Canadian government will provide you with answers to many of the most common questions related to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
When can I apply?
• The week of April 6th. The government has announced that an online portal and telephone line will be available sometime during the week of April 6th.
When will I receive my cheque?
• The first cheques should be received approximately 10 days after you apply.
And when will I stop receiving my cheques?
• You will stop receiving this cheque after four months, or sooner if you return to work.
What steps do I need to take to register or apply?
• You will need to register on a new website that will be set up the week of April 6 by the federal government. The address of this site has not yet been released.
• Even though you can’t apply until April 6th, you can set up your CRA My Account now
• Because of this, we HIGHLY recommend you register for “CRA My Account” as we are told this will streamline your application process and you can setup Direct Deposit through this.
REGISTER FOR CRA MY ACCOUNT HERE
Who qualifies and can apply for the CERB?
• You must reside in Canada
• You are 15 years of age or older at the time of application
• You have stopped or will stop working for reasons related to covid-19, or because you are unable to work due to illness, or because you lost your employment for other reasons beyond your control; and
◦ If you are submitting for your first benefit period, that you have stopped or will stop working for at least 14 consecutive days within the 4 week benefit period; or
◦ If you are filing for a subsequent benefit period, you did not receive any employment or self employment income for the period for which you previously claimed the benefit and do not expect to receive any employment or self employment income in the 4 week benefit period
• You have not quit your job voluntarily
• You are not receiving nor have you applied for the CERB from the Canada Revenue Agency nor are you receiving Employment Insurance benefits for the same benefit period
• You have earned a minimum of $5,000 in income within the last 12 months or in the 2019 calendar year from one or more of the following sources:
◦ Employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program.
How much will I get?
• The CERB is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum 16 weeks of benefits can be paid between March 15, 2020 (retroactive) and October 3, 2020.
If I have kept my employment relationship but my income has decreased because of the crisis, do I qualify?
• 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.
• This means that a worker who had two part-time jobs and loses one of them because of COVID-19 is not eligible.
If my spouse still has his or her salary, does that affect my claim?
• No. You’re still entitled to the $2,000 a month.
I have already applied for Employment Insurance. Am I eligible?
• Yes, but ONLY if you applied after March 15. The Canada Emergency Benefit will then replace the Employment Insurance you were supposed to receive. You do not need to apply again. Your current application will be converted into an application for CERB.
• If you applied before March 15, you will have to wait until your EI benefits have expired. You may then be eligible for CERB.
If I’m already on EI, will I get the $2,000 a month?
• Not immediately. You will have to wait until your EI benefits are due. The two amounts are not cumulative.
Is there a limit to the number of cheques per household?
• No. For example, if five people who live in the same household meet the criteria, they can all receive the $2,000 per month.
Will I be entitled to $2,000 a month even if I earned less than that amount before I lost my income?
• Yes, you will receive $2,000 per month if you earned at least $5,000 in the previous 12 months. So your monthly income may increase temporarily, but keep in mind that the program is for a maximum of 4 months.
Will I be able to call a phone number to register if I don’t have access to the Internet?
• Yes, but the federal government has not yet released the number.
Will it also be possible to apply in person?
• Federal government has not yet indicated whether this will be possible.