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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.

How to apply for CERB

Applications open April 6, 2020. There are two ways to apply:

Application Instructions – via phone:

Before you call, please ensure you have the following information:

To verify your identity, you’ll need

  • your social insurance number (SIN)
  • postal code

If you are calling the CRA on behalf of someone else, you must be an authorized representative

Application Instructions – online application:

Before you apply for CERB online, you must have an active CRA My Account. For instructions on how to register, please click here.

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

If you are not normally eligible for Employment Insurance, please register for your CRA My Account and direct deposit in advance of the application launch.

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.

Information courtesy of The Government of Canada .

When should you apply for CERB?

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:
If you were born in the month of: Please apply on:
January, February or March April 6
April, May, or June April 7
July, August, or September April 8
October, November, or December April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Questions about CERB?

Unsure if you should apply for CERB with Service Canada or CRA?

Questions about applying for CERB with CRA?

Find answers to common questions with this automated helpline:
1-833-966-2099

To speak with an agent about CERB, or CRA My Account:
1-800-959-8281

For more information on CERB and the application process, please click here. 

For additional information on CERB, please visit the Government of Canada’s website, here.