What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CER...

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What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), and who qualifies?


Available starting from April 6th as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month for up to four (4) months, to be paid every four (4) weeks. These funds would be available to workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether they qualify for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits or not, including:




UPDATE: Content, including list of those eligible to collect CERB, expanded on April 15, 2020.

  • Workers (including seasonal) who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to resume seasonal work due to COVID-19;
  • Workers who have lost their job;
  • 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 at home because of school and daycare closures;
  • Wage earners;
  • Contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for EI benefits;
  • Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19.




As of April 15, 2020 the government will allow you to earn up to $1,000 in income while collecting the CERB. Workers who are already collecting EI regular and sickness benefits as of March 25, 2020 will continue to receive their EI benefits and should not apply to the CERB. Workers who are already collecting EI benefits should only apply for the CERB if: (a) their EI benefits cease before October 3, 2020; and (b) they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19.




If you've already registered for CRA - My Account, begin by logging in. Once you gain access to the site, you may apply for the CERB through the following steps:

  • Go to COVID-19: Canada Emergency Response Benefit in the alert banner at the top of the page.
  • Select the period you want to apply for.
  • Declare that you qualify for the benefit.
  • Confirm we have the right payment information.




Don't have a CRA - My Account? We'll show you how to register for one!

Before you call, to verify your identity, you'll need:

  • Your social insurance number (SIN).
  • Postal code.



If you are calling the CRA on behalf of someone else, you must be an authorized representative.



To start the application process, dial 1-800-959-2019, then follow the instructions below:




  • Select your language preference: English or French.
  • Follow the prompts to enter your information, including your SIN, confirmation of your postal code, and the period you are applying for.
  • Declare that you qualify for the benefit.




The CRA will then issue payments by direct deposit or cheque, based on the payment method we have on file for you.

Related information:

Additional information on CERB (source: CRA)

Covid-19 Tax Info Centre

What is the Emergency Care Benefit?

Additional Federal measures (for individuals)

What to know about COVID-19 and your taxes

COVID-19 and Finances: Ultimate Money Tip and Resource Guide

Official Federal government response

Official Quebec provincial response

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