Dear AARO Members,

CERB – Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit – Taxable Benefit under the Canada.ca Website.

How to apply

Applications for the CERB will begin the week of Monday, April 6, 2020.

There are two ways to apply:

  • Online with CRA My Account
  • Over the phone with an automated phone service

Applications on April 6.

Prior to April 6, individuals who are without work and are eligible for EI can continue to apply for Employment Insurance.

Important! If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance, find out how you can get ready to apply for the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency.

Whether you apply online or by phone, the CRA wants to provide the best service possible to everyone. To help manage this, the CRA has set up specific days for you to apply. Please use the following guidelines:

Day to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

If you were born in the month of Apply for CERB on Your best day to apply
January, February or March Mondays April 6
April, May, or June Tuesdays April 7
July, August, or September Wednesdays April 8
October, November, or December Thursdays April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Eligibility

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits:
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.

The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.

The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.

After you apply

If you are eligible for the CERB, you can expect $2,000 ($500 per week) for a 4-week period.

It is a single payment for a 4-week period.

If your situation continues, you can re-apply for a payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods)

Note: These benefits are taxable and you will need to report any payments received on next year’s tax filing. An information slip will be made available for the 2020 tax year in My Account under Tax Information Slips (T4 and more).

Understand the payment periods

Each payment of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) covers a 4-week period, beginning March 15, 2020. When you apply, it is for a single payment for the 4-week period. If your situation continues, you can apply for an additional 4-week period, up to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods in total).

What are the payment methods

The CERB is paid by direct deposit or by cheque if your direct deposit information is not on file.

When to expect payment

  • If you are getting your payment by direct deposit, expect your payment within 3 business days from the day you submitted your application
  • If you are getting your payment by cheque, expect to get the cheque within 10 business days from the day you submitted your application.

Apply again every 4 weeks

You will need to apply and confirm your eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit every 4 weeks (to a maximum of 16 weeks) if your situation continues.