March 26, 2020
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
- If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide you with temporary income support.
- The CERB will provide you with $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
- The targeted date for the CRA to start accepting applications is April 6, 2020.
How to Apply
- Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) deliver this benefit jointly. You can apply through one or the other, but not both. If you have already applied for Employment Insurance, you do not need to re-apply.
To be eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) from Service Canada, the following must apply:
- You must reside in Canada
- You are 15 years of age or older at the time of application
- You have stopped or will stop working for reasons related to COVID-19, or because you are unable to work due to illness, or because you lost your employment for other reasons beyond your control; and
- If you are submitting for your first benefit period, that you have stopped or will stop working for at least 14 consecutive days within the 4 week benefit period; or
- If you are filing for a subsequent benefit period, you did not receive any employment or self employment income for the period for which you previously claimed the benefit and do not expect to receive any employment or self employment income in the 4 week benefit period
- You have not quit your job voluntarily
- You are not receiving nor have you applied for the CERB from the Canada Revenue Agency nor are you receiving Employment Insurance benefits for the same benefit period
- You have earned a minimum of $5,000 in income within the last 12 months or in the 2019 calendar year from one or more of the following sources:
- Employment income
- Self-employment income
Click here for more information about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
Employment Insurance Sickness Benefit
What is Employment Insurance (EI)?
Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
If you are eligible, visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.
Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:
- The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
- Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
- People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
- People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay
Important: If you are directly affected by the COVID-19 because you are sick or quarantined and you have not yet applied for EI benefits, please submit your application before contacting the CRA. This will allow them to better serve you and prevent delays in establishing your claim.
If you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits whether you are sick or quarantined and would like to have the one-week waiting period waived, call the new toll-free phone number below. It is important to note that no other request will be actioned on this phone line. We will take action only for sick or quarantined clients affected by the COVID-19 for which the application for sickness benefits has been filed.
- Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
- Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742
Increased GST Credit
- A one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). This will double the maximum annual GSTC payment amounts for the 2019-20 benefit year.
- Those eligible for the GST credit will receive a one-time special payment of about $400 for singles and $600 for couples.
Increased Canada Child Benefit
- Eligible recipients will receive $300 more per child with their regular May CCB payment.
- If you have previously applied for the CCB, you do not need to re-apply.
Click here for more information on the Increased Canada Child Benefit.
Seniors with RRIF Accounts
The Government of Canada is reducing required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings. Similar rules would apply to individuals receiving variable benefit payments under a defined contribution Registered Pension Plan.
Canada Student Loans
Effective March 30, 2020, all student loan borrowers will automatically have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. No payment will be required, and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
Click here for all support available through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.