Emergency Response Benefit

$2,000/month for workers out of work for reasons related to COVID-19

Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide $2,000 per month for workers who have been out of work for reasons relating to COVID-19.


 

What is the Emergency Response Benefit?

Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit that will provide $2,000 per month for up to four months for workers who have been out of work for 14 consecutive days in any four-week period for reasons relating to COVID-19.   

CERB will be paid every four weeks and will be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

CERB will be available to Canadians who have lost their job, who are sick or quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.

The benefit will also be available to working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.

The CERB provides temporary income support for employees who receive salaries and wages, contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).

Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB.

 

Are you eligible for the Emergency Response Benefit?

To be eligible you must be out of work for 14 consecutive days for reasons related to COVID-19.  

To qualify for CERB benefits, you must

  1. Be a resident of Canada;
  2. Be 15 years or older; and
  3. Have had a combined total income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months immediately preceding the application, from any of the following sources;
    1. Employment income,
    2. Self-employment income, and
    3. Maternity or parental leave benefits.

Additionally, to be eligible for the CERB benefit, a worker must receive no income for 14 consecutive days in a four-week period for which they apply for benefits. This means no income from:

  1. Employment or self-employment;
  2. Employment Insurance; or
  3. Any benefits in respect of pregnancy or parental leave.

The CERB program was recently expanded to include incorporated small business owners who paid themselves at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months immediately preceding the application by dividends.

 

When will the Emergency Response Benefit be available?

The application process is scheduled to begin during the week of April 6, 2020.

Applications will be processed and money will be received within 10 days from when an application form is submitted.

CERB applications can be backdated to March 15, 2020.

The CERB will be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

The CERB will be paid out in a $2,000 lump sum every four weeks, for up to 16 weeks. 

 

How do I apply for the Emergency Response Benefit?

You will be able to apply for the CERB through the CRA MyAccount secure portal.

You should register for a CRA MyAccount now so that it is ready and available when you decide to apply for CERB.

To register for CRA MyAccount go to the following link: CRA MyAccount

Scroll down and select “CRA Register” under “Option 2 – Using CRA User ID and password."

CRA MyAccount Register

You will have to complete two steps.

Step 1 – Provide personal information

  1. Enter your social insurance number.
  2. Enter your date of birth.
  3. Enter your current postal code.
  4. Enter an amount requested from one of your previously filed income tax and benefit returns. Have a copy of your returns handy. (The line amount requested will vary. It could be from the current tax year or the previous one.) To register, a return for one of these two years must have been filed and assessed.
  5. Create a CRA user ID and password.
  6. Create your security questions and answers. You can also decide if you want a persistent cookie added to your computer, so you can access CRA Login Services using that same computer later without being asked for more identification.

After you complete Step One of the registration process, you will have access to some information in MyAccount. Once you have received your your CRA security code, we recommend entering it when you log in to MyAccount in order to access all of the services available.

Step 2 – Enter the CRA security code

  1. To access your account, return to My Account for Individuals, select "CRA login," and enter your CRA user ID and password. When prompted, enter your CRA security code.

How do I get a CRA security code?

After you have completed the registration process through My Account for Individuals you will be issued a CRA security code. The CRA security code has an indicated expiry date. Follow the provided instructions before the code expires, or you will have to contact the Individual tax enquiries to have a new CRA security code issued to you.

Ask Us a Question