Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) FAQS

WHAT IS CANADA EMERGENCY RESPONSE BENEFIT (CERB)?

  • Taxable Benefit of $2,000 a month ($500 per week)
  • Up to 4 months (16 weeks) for workers who lose their income as a result of COVID-19 pandemic

AM I ELIGIBLE?

To qualify for CERB, you must:

  • Have stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Be without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, have no income.
  • Have income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of your application

DO I APPLY FOR CERB IF I HAVE ALREADY APPLIED FOR EI?

  1. You DO NOT need to apply for CERB.
  • EI application submitted BEFORE March 15th: claim is processed under the pre-existing EI rules.
  • EI application submitted AFTER March 15th: claim is automatically processed through CERB.

IF I HAVEN’T APPLIED TO EI, DO I NOW APPLY TO CERB? HOW DO I APPLY?

YES. If you haven’t applied for EI, you will apply for CERB (not EI) through My CRA:

The CERB portal for applications will be open April 6th and Canadians are to apply according to their birth month as follows:

If you were born in the month of

Apply for CERB on

Your best day to apply

Jan, Feb, Mar

Mondays

April 6

Apr, May, June

Tuesdays

April 7

July, Aug, Sept

Wednesdays

April 8

Oct, Nov, Dec

Thursdays

April 9

Any Month

Fri, Sat, Sun

 


DO I HAVE TO APPLY EVERY 4 WEEKS FOR CERB?

YES. You will need to apply for the CERB every 4 weeks (to a maximum of 16 weeks) if your work stoppage continues. Each payment of CERB covers a 4-week period, and is retroactive to March 15, 2020. When you apply, it is for a single payment for the 4-week period.

IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN I DO TO SPEED UP MY CERB APPLICATION PROCESS?

YES. Here are 2 things to do BEFORE you apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit:

  • Sign up for My Account through the CRA. This will speed up your application process when applications open the week of April 6th.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals.html

  • Sign up for direct deposit. This will help get money into your account faster once your application is processed.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/about-canada-revenue-agency-cra/direct-deposit.html

If you don’t have CRA account but you do have a My Service Canada Account, you do not need to register for a CRA My Account, but you do need to complete the following:

After you sign into My Service Canada Account at: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/my-account.html

  • Look for the link to "Switch to Canada Revenue Agency" and then "I agree" on the Registration and authentication page. This transfers you to CRA My Account.
  • Update your address and direct deposit with CRA (CRA does not have your personal information from your My Service Canada Account)
  • You can then complete the application when it becomes available on April 6.

DO I NEED AN ROE TO APPLY FOR CERB?

No. The program is subject to providing supporting documentation at a later date.

HOW QUICKLY CAN I RECEIVE CERB PAYMENTS?

  • Direct deposit: expect your payment within 3 business days from the day you submitted your application
  • Cheque: expect to get the cheque within 10 business days from the day you submitted your application

***This information is current as of April 3, 2020 and may be subject to change in accordance with gov’t legislation****

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CERB VISIT:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html#start