The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit - What You Need To Know

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit - What You Need To Know

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) portal is finally live as of Monday, April 6. This is a resource for all those who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadians who qualify for this benefit can visit the Canada.ca website for more information or call the toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019.

There are two ways to access the funds – which amount to $2,000 a month for up to four months – either by setting up a direct deposit or by mail. The direct deposit payments should between three-to-five days to come through whereas the payments by mail may take up to 10 days.

Those who have been applying for employment insurance will be automatically enrolled into CERB.

With a high volume of applicants expected, a system has been put in place to ensure that the portal does not become overloaded and crash. Applications will be staggered over the work week based on birth months.

This means that those born in January through March should apply on April 6 and people born in April through June should apply on April 7. Those born in July through September should apply on April 8 and finally those born in October through December should apply on April 9.

On April 10 and moving forward however, applications will no longer be dependent on birth month.

Those who apply online will need to sign into their CRA My Accounts and follow the procedure set forth on the website. This will include selecting the period the application is for as well as declaring that they qualify for the benefit. Once the right payment information is confirmed, it should only take three-to-five days for the direct deposit to come through.

If applying on the phone, call the toll-free line listed above – this is a dedicated CERB line. Applicants who choose to use the line are advised to have their Social Insurance Number and Postal Code at hand to verify their identity.

While these services will run seven days a week, they will be closed from 3 A.M. ET to 6 A.M. ET for maintenance.

This benefit is available from March 15 to October 3rd – with the deadline for these applications being on December 2nd.

There are certain criteria that those who apply for CERB need to meet. This includes being over the age of 15 and residing in Canada and having stopped working because of COVID-19. Moreover, applicants will need to have had an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12-month period prior to the date of the application.

Applicants will also need to have been or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week-period.

The aforementioned income of $5,000 can be from a combination of any of the following: employment, self-employment, maternity and parental benefits under EI, or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.

The bottom line is that this benefit only applies to those who have stopped working and receiving income because of COVID-19.

If you have any questions regarding how this could effect your insurance or benefits, contact one of our experts today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by simply calling us at 905-696-9090.

Source - CBC

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