What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
On Wednesday March 25, 2020, the Government of Canada announced further measures to help protect Canadians and the economy from the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Please see our previous blog post from March 20th, for general information on the Government of Canada’s action plan.
The announcement included the creation of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). This taxable benefit will provide $2,000 per month, for up to four months, to workers who have lost their income as a result of Covid-19. Once the application is approved, the CERB will be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020.
How do I Access the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April. The website itself has not yet been unveiled. Once it is up and running, it is meant to provide easy access for all taxpayers. Money will be paid out with in 10 days of applying. The CERB is meant to streamline two previously announced benefits, The Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit, into one plan.
Will I be Eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit covers all Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or are taking care of someone who is sick or at home because of school/daycare closures. The CERB covers not only wage earners or employees, but also contract and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance. The CERB would also extend to workers who are still employed but not receiving income due to work disruption caused by Covid-19.
For a detailed listing of who is covered, please see the CRA website found here.
Canadians already receiving employment insurance ought to continue and not apply for this new benefit. Once the employment insurance benefits cease, as long as it is before October 3, 2020 those individuals will be able to apply for the CERB.
If you have any questions about how the taxable benefit above may affect you as a taxpayer, or questions about applying contact our firm for a free consultation. We are here to help! In the meantime, we will continue to keep you informed and hope you and your families remain safe and healthy in these uncertain times!
This article provides information of a general nature only. It does not provide legal advice nor can it or should it be relied upon. All tax situations are specific to their facts and will differ from the situations in the articles. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer.