As outlined last week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canadians can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) starting today. The CERB is a $2,000 per month taxable benefit for workers whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19 / Coronavirus. This amount can be applied for on a monthly basis, for up to four months.
How to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Applications can be made online with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account or over the phone by calling 1-800-959-2019. If you choose the apply online, the easiest likely method is to do so using a “Sign-In Partner,” such as your bank. This way you don’t have to already have a direct login with the CRA.
When to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
It’s important to note that the recommended day to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is based on the birth month of the individual making the application. Please see the following application guidelines:
- If you were born in January, February or March, then you can apply on Mondays (April 6).
- If you were born in April, May or June, then you can apply on Tuesdays (April 7).
- If you were born in July, August or September, then you can apply on Wednesdays (April 8).
- If you were born in October, November or December, then you can apply on Thursdays (April 9).
- Applications on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays are open to any birth month.
Who can apply
The eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is based the four points below. The benefit is available for workers:
- “Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
- Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
- Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
- Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.”
The CERB website also specifies two additional points worth noting:
- “The income of at least $5,000 may be from any or a combination of the following sources: employment; self-employment; maternity and parental benefits under the Employment Insurance program and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan.
- The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work and are not earning employment or self-employment income as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you have not stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.”
Please also note that the benefit is taxable, therefore you must declare it as income on your 2020 tax return. Taxes are not deducted at source.
Once you’ve completed your application, you should receive your payment within three to five days when you select direct deposit. If you choose to receive your payments by mail, a cheque will be mailed within 10 days. ■
For any additional information on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) please click here.
For official info from the Government of Canada on Coronavirus / COVID-19, including their latest map of cases in Canada, please also click here.
For the number of COVID-19 / Coronavirus cases in Montreal, and across the province of Quebec, please click here.
Additionally, please visit our News section for more updates on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
To read the latest issue of Cult MTL, click here.
To vote for your favourite Montreal people and things in the Best of MTL readers poll, please also click here.