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What You Need to Know About the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

ON April 5, 2020


We are all living in truly unprecedented and uncertain times. The COVID-19 global pandemic is impacting our personal and professional lives, causing immediate stress and financial hardship. To help ease the economic burden, the federal government has put in place a new measure to aid those who have been directly affected by the coronavirus.

To help make sense of it all, here’s what you need to know about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Please note that due to ongoing changes to the situation, some details may be modified on the official government websites, so check the website for updates.

What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is the latest aid package designed to help individuals who have lost their income due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This taxable benefit will provide financial assistance each month for up to four months for those who qualify.

Who is eligible?

You can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if you are:

  • someone who has had to stop working as a result of COVID-19 and don’t have paid leave or access to other financial support
  • an individual who is ill, quarantined, or caring for a person who has contracted the coronavirus
  • a working parent forced to stay home to care for children because of school or daycare closures
  • a worker who has made at least $5000 in 2019 and has been laid off or is no longer able to work due to COVID-19 and is not receiving employment insurance or any other income

Note that if you have quit your job, you will not be eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

How much can you receive and for how long?

If you qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the federal government will pay $2000 each month to individuals for a total of up to four months. Applications for continued benefits must be made every four weeks. The financial assistance will be considered taxable income for 2020.

When and where can you apply?

You can begin applying for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit starting April 6th, 2020. To help mitigate process times, however, the CRA has set up specific days for you to apply, based on your birth month.

– Mondays, starting April 6, for those born in January, February, or March

– Tuesdays, starting April 7, for those born in April, May, or June

– Wednesdays, starting April 8, for those born in July, August, or September

– Thursdays, starting April 9, for those born in October, November, or December

– Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for any month of birth

You can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit via:

For more information about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, you can visit the official website of the Government of Canada.

If you have any questions or need help preparing your taxes, reach out to us today!

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