The Quick and Easy Guide to Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Package

As Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the economy, our health and well-being, and disrupts our everyday lives, the Government of Canada has taken drastic steps to try and help those in need by providing them with considerable financial assistance. The following mini-guide will lay out some helpful criteria, considerations and resources to try and help you with receiving the assistance you and your family needs during these trying times.

The CERB will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months. In addition to the CERB, if you have children aged 0-12 you are eligible for a one-time payment of $200 per child, and $250 per children aged 0-21 if they have special needs. You may apply for this additional benefit via this link

If you’re considering applying for the CERB, here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • You must reside in Canada and be at least 15 years of age
  • If you have already applied for Employment Insurance (EI) from Service Canada, you should not apply for CERB – you will automatically be considered for the CERB package
  • You must not have received any employment income for at least 14 days in a row. In other words, you cannot be earning any wages or income to qualify
  • You must have made at least $5,000 in the previous 12 months or the previous tax year
  • Benefits run from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020
  • You will receive benefits faster if you choose direct deposit (within 3 days) versus cheque (within 10 days)

To summarize, if COVID19 has affected your income-earning in such a way that you have to stay home to take care of your children, or your workplace is temporarily closed and you’re not earning any income from them (despite still being an employee there), or you have lost your job, along with many other reasons, you should apply for CERB (as long as you haven’t already applied for EI from Service Canada).

When you’re ready to apply, or want more information about the CERB, please visit this link If you still have questions that have not been addressed, you can find answers to common questions by calling 1-833-966-2099 or talking to a Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) agent at 1-800-959-8281.

Additional Resources

  1. Canada Emergency Response Benefit 
  2. Get Support for Families