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What is the difference between CERB and CRB?

As a result of COVID-19, many Canadians have been relying on government benefits such as the CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefit), and the CRB (Canadian Response Benefit), to help get them through some tough times. And as the pandemic continues to evolve, so does the government response to it. There are a lot of proposals being made and programs being implemented, but the abundance of information is often difficult for the average Canadian to follow.

What is CERB, and how does it differ from CRB? How do each impact my income and taxes? What information do you really need to know, and how will it have an impact on you?

Let's start with the basics:

What do they mean?

How do I apply?

The CERB closed to retroactive applications on December 2, 2020. You can no longer apply for this benefit. If you were asked to provide additional documents to validate your application, you must ensure the CRA receives them by December 7, 2020.

Payment amounts and frequency

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gave financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who were directly affected by COVID-19, from March 15, 2020 until December 2, 2020 (for retroactive applications).

If you were eligible, you can receive $2,000 for each  4-week period (or the same as $500 a week).

Starting September 27, 2020, the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) provides a payment of $1,000 (before taxes withheld) for each 2-week period that you apply for.

After the CRA withholds a 10% tax at source, the actual payment received is $900 per 2-week period.

How do they affect my taxes?

Related information:

Covid-19 Tax Info Centre

How are taxpayers being helped during the COVID-19 outbreak?

What income support will be provided during the COVID-19 breakout for those in need?


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