The COVID-19 aid package proposed by the Federal government received royal assent following some modifications to the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit (ECB) and Emergency Support Benefit (ESB) measures for individuals whose income has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly announced Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) replaced both the ECB and ESB measures.
The CERB represents a taxable benefit of up to $2,000 per month for up to four months for workers who are earning no income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB is designed to help workers who were laid off due to COVID-19, sick with COVID-19, taking care of a family member sick with COVID-19 or parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are home because of school and daycare closures. All Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, irrespective of whether they were eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), can receive the CERB including wage earners, contractors and self-employed individuals.
Those who become eligible for EI before March 15th, will be processed under the pre-existing EI rules. Those who became eligible for EI March 15th or onward, will be automatically processed through the CERB program.
Canada Revenue Agency will be administering the CERB and will be introducing an online portal to accommodate CERB applications in early April. Eligible individuals will receive CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB will be paid every four weeks and is available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
More information on the CERB can be found on the Government of Canada website.
For more information on how to apply for the CERB click here.
More information on other COVID-19 federal programs for individuals:
- Tax filing deadline deferrals, GST credit doubling, six month moratorium on Canada student loans and potential mortgage flexibility
- EI options
More information on other COVID-19 federal programs for businesses: