CERB Update


On April 15, eligibility for CERB rules changed to:

  • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
  • This replaces the previous rule that you must have had zero income for 14 consecutive days in order to be eligible


Global News Video: https://globalnews.ca/news/6815789/cerb-double-payment-what-to-do/


We’re learning it may have been common for Canadians to have received a double payment (2 identical payments of $2000) from the government during the first round of CERB applications.

Potential Reasons:

Canadians who received two identical payments of $2,000 likely applied twice for the CERB and received more than what they are entitled to.

How could double application have happened?

The portal to apply for CERB did not open until April 6th. EI applications submitted after March 15th were automatically transferred to the CERB benefit. You were advised that if you already applied to EI, you do not need to apply to CERB as your EI claim would automatically be transferred to CERB (replacing EI). As we have learned that a government error may have occurred resulting in a double payment for the same period. If you applied for EI via Service Canada but then applied for CERB via CRA, you would have received a duplicate payment.

As most of you likely applied for EI prior April 6th your application was processed and paid for that initial 4 week period from March 15 – April 11th. On April 13th the second round of CERB applications for the 4 week period from April 12 – May 9 was opened.

Those Canadians who were already receiving EI unemployment or sickness benefits as of March 15 will continue to receive the benefits and should not apply to CERB.

Canadians who have applied for EI but whose applications have not yet been processed don’t need to re-apply for jobless benefits. If they became eligible for EI before March 15, they will receive EI. If they became eligible for EI on or after March 15, they’ll be automatically enrolled in CERB.

The CRA website now carry prominent warnings about double applications.

A screenshot from the CRA website shows a prominent warning against double-applying for the CERB on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

What do I do?

Be prepared to have to pay the overpayment back. Canada Revenue Agency and Service Canada, which are jointly administering the benefit, will be in touch with applicants in this situation. Canadians are not eligible to receive both EI and CERB at the same time.

No one will receive more than a maximum of $8,000 through the program (2K every 4 week period).


If you applied to EI prior to April 6th when the CERB (CRA portal) was opened up,  your claim is processed through Service Canada and therefore you are required to submit bi-weekly EI reporting in order to receive your CERB payment.

If you applied for CERB after April 6th, you have to reapply for CERB benefits every 4 week period via CRA. YOU DO NOT NEED TO APPLY FOR CERB BENEFITS IF YOU APPLIED FOR EI PRIOR TO APRIL 6TH