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Canadians can now apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Canadians can now apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) at Canada.ca/coronavirus.

Canadians who have lost their income due to COVID-19 can expect their payment in three to five business days from when they apply if they are using direct deposit. That means most Canadians who are eligible will receive $2,000 before the end of next week.

“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian workers and their families facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carla Qualtrough,  Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, in a news release. “Today marks the launch of an unprecedented measure to help Canadian workers through an extraordinary time. This new benefit will help Canadian workers pay their bills and keep a roof over their head.”

Canadians looking to get more information about the CERB or, who are unable to apply online, can call the toll-free telephone line at 1-833-966-2099.

To help manage the volume of applications through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Service Canada, applicants will be asked to apply over four days depending on their month of birth. If you were born in January, February or March, apply today. Those born in April, May and June can apply on Tuesday. Those born in July, August, and September can apply on Wednesday, and those born in October, November, and December can apply on Thursday. Anyone can apply on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. In addition, Shared Services Canada has also increased the bandwidth capacity of the network infrastructure supporting the CRA, including the My Account secure online portal.

Canadians who have already applied for EI do not need to reapply. To date, over 1.2 million of the EI applications received since March 15, 2020 have been processed through the new CERB.

  • The CERB is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. Eligible workers can apply no later than December 2, 2020.
  • Direct deposit payments will be delivered into accounts within 3 business days of applicants being eligible to receive it, and cheques within 10 days. To ensure timely delivery of their payments and avoid any potential payment disruptions, Canadians should sign up for direct deposit.
  • The CERB will support Canadians who have stopped working because of COVID-19 by providing $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. Some examples of support to workers provided by the CERB include:
    • workers, including those who are self-employed, who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support;
    • workers who have lost their employment, as well as workers who are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
    • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures; and
    • workers who are still employed, but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.

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