Planning to apply for CERB? Here’s some info that might help if you’re feeling confused about the process!

What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self-employment income for reasons related to COVID-19. The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit is paid in blocks of four weeks in the amount of $2,000, which is equivalent to $500 per week. A maximum of 16 weeks of benefits can be paid. The benefit is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020.

Who Is eligible for CERB?

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, 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.
  • 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.

How to apply for CERB:

Once you have logged in via your CRA My Account:

  1. Go to COVID-19: Canada Emergency Response Benefit in the alert banner at the top of the page
  2. Select the period you want to apply for
  3. Declare that you qualify for the benefit
  4. Confirm your payment information online

The CRA will issue payments by direct deposit or cheque, based on the payment method we have on file for you.

Service Canada anticipates a high level of applications, to help manage this, the CRA has set up specific days for you to apply. Please use the following guidelines whether you apply online or by phone.

After You Apply:

  • If you are eligible for the CERB, you can expect $2,000 ($500 per week) for a 4-week period.
  • It is a single payment for a 4-week period.
  • If your situation continues, you can re-apply for a payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods)

Note: These benefits are taxable and you will need to report any payments received on next year’s tax filing. An information slip will be made available for the 2020 tax year in My Account under Tax Information Slips (T4 and more).

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).
  • What are the payment methods
    • The CERB is paid by direct deposit or by cheque if your direct deposit information is not on file.
  • When to expect payment
    • If you are getting your payment by direct deposit, expect your payment within 3 business days from the day you submitted your application
    • If you are getting your payment by cheque, expect to get the cheque within 10 business days from the day you submitted your application.
  • Apply again every 4 weeks
    • You will need to apply and confirm your eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit every 4 weeks (to a maximum of 16 weeks) if your situation continues.

For more information on CERB and the application process visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html or https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html

Hope that helps! If anyone is looking for full lists of financial supports available, these two links are great:

http://bowinnmamla.ca/covid19/supports/

http://jodywilson-raybould.ca/covid-19-financial-supports/

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