COVID-19 March 25 update

Today, the Government of Canada announced further measures to help protect Canadians and the economy from the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The announcement included the creation of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit will provide $2,000 per month, for up to four months, to workers who have lost their income as a result of Covid-19. Once the application is approved, the CERB will be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020.

The plan, to be accessed online by April 6, 2020, is meant to have easy access with money being paid out with in 10 days of applying. The CERB is meant to streamline two previously announced benefits, The Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit, into one plan.

The CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or are taking care of someone who is sick or at home because of school/daycare closures. The CERB covers not only wage earners or employees, but also contract and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance. The CERB would also extend to workers who are still employed but not receiving income due to work disruption caused by Covid-19.

Canadians already receiving employment insurance ought to continue and not apply for this new benefit. Once the employment insurance benefits cease, as long as it is before October 3, 2020 those individuals will be able to apply for the CERB.

We will continue to keep you informed and hope you and your families remain safe and healthy.