Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Application 2020

Application Deadline: Dec. 2 2020

Applications are now open for the new federal emergency aid benefit for Canadians who lost their income because of COVID-19. The stimulus package will aid millions of Canadians who are out of work amid the pandemic.

More than two million Canadians lost their jobs in the last half of March as businesses across the country were forced to close or reduce their operations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Others are unable to work because they are required to self-isolate at home, or need to look after children whose schools and daycares are closed.

ELIGIBILITY (Canada Emergency Response Benefit )

  • Be a Canadian resident
  • Be at least 15 years old when you apply
  • Have lost all of your income for reasons related to COVID-19. This includes being laid off or seeing business dry up because of the economic consequences of the pandemic. It also includes losing the ability to earn money because you are sick with the novel coronavirus, quarantined, caring for someone with COVID-19 or looking after children who are either sick with the virus or home from school and daycare. Note that you don’t need to have been laid off to qualify for CERB. If you’re not receiving income from your employer, you can apply for CERB even if you are still formally employed.
  • You earned at least $5,000 in income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from work (whether employment or self-employment) or from maternity and parental benefits (whether EI or through Quebec’s Parental Insurance Plan).
  • You have — or expect to have — no income from the above-listed sources for at least 14 days in a row of the initial four-week period for which you are applying. You must also expect to continue to have zero income due to COVID-19 in order to continue to re-apply for the benefit.
  • If you also qualify for EI regular unemployment or sickness benefits: if you became eligible for EI on March 15, 2020, or later, your claim will automatically be processed for CERB. Notably, you will get CERB even if you’d normally receive more than $2,000 a month under EI. On the other hand, everyone who would receive less than $2,000 through EI will get a pay bump through the new benefit. Also, CERB will not eat into your EI entitlement. After four months of CERB, you could still receive EI benefits for however many weeks you’d be eligible for regardless of CERB. (For more details about how CERB fits in with the EI program, please see here.)

Eligibility for CERB is set in four-week periods beginning with the period starting on March 15 and ending on April 11:

new federal emergency aid benefit for Canadians eligible periods


People born in April, May and June can apply Tuesday, those born in July, August or September can apply Wednesday and applications are accepted Thursday from people born in October, November and December. Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be open to anyone.

HOW TO APPLY (Canada Emergency Response Benefit )

There are two ways to apply for CERB: online and through an automated phone system.

Online, you apply through the CRA’s My Account portal. If you don’t have one, here’s how to register for it.

If applying by phone, call 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday Canadians who sign up for direct deposit could get their first payment before the end of the week. It’s anticipated direct deposit applicants will get money within three to five days, while those who opt for printed cheques will get money in 10 days.

Israel Wellington Jeremiah
Israel Wellington Jeremiah is the Admin and publisher at Empowerment Opportunities. A seasoned online publicist and an entrepreneur.

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