Canada introduced the CERB to immediately help workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, so they could continue to put food on the table and pay their bills during this challenging time.
The government is also making changes to the CERB attestation, which will encourage Canadians receiving the benefit to find employment and consult Job Bank. Over the next few weeks, the government will monitor international best practices, the economy, and the progression of the virus and, if needed, make necessary changes to the program so more people can have the support they need, said a government statement.
“We will also look at ways to ensure all our supports, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Employment Insurance (EI), are working effectively to help Canadians get back on their feet, it added.
The CERB is a taxable benefit of $2,000 over a four-week period for eligible workers who have stopped working or whose work hours have been reduced, due to Covid-19.
The CERB is available to workers who:
- Live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
- Have stopped working because of reasons related to Covid-19, or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits, or have exhausted their EI regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020
- Had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application
- Have not earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income per benefit period while collecting the CERB
- Have not quit their job voluntarily
Yesterday’s announcement builds on a number of measures, including the proposed extension of the CEWS announced on May 15. The CEWS is being extended to August 29, 2020, to protect jobs, allow businesses to keep employees on the payroll, and re-hire workers who were previously laid off.
“We know that many Canadians across the country are still facing a really tough time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we will continue to take action to better support them. By extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canadians will be able to continue to buy groceries and pay their bills as we work together to safely and effectively restart the economy,” said the Prime Minister.
- Canadians begin to receive their CERB payments by direct deposit within 3 to 5 days of applying and by mail within 10 days of applying. Canadians will have to apply every period, attesting that they continue to meet the eligibility criteria for the CERB payment.
- When submitting their first claim, workers cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of their claim. When submitting subsequent claims, workers cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of their new claim.
- Application to the CERB can be made no later than December 2, 2020, for payments retroactive to the period of March 15 to October 3, 2020.
- Canadians can apply for the CERB and get more information online or by calling 1-833-966-2099.