SUMMARY of the Immediate Changes that CRA has implemented as of April 9 2020
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The CERB will be available to workers:
- residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
- who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance 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.
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.
How to apply - Starting April 6, 2020, there will be a single portal to assist you with the application process. From this portal, you will then be guided through your responses to a few simple questions to complete the application best suited to you (i.e. eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits or not).
Canadians who are eligible for Employment Insurance and who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI benefits.
If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
For other EI benefits, including maternity, parental, caregiving, fishing and worksharing, you should also continue to apply.
After you apply
If you are eligible for the CERB, you can expect $2,000 ($500 per week) for a 4-week period.
It is a single payment for a 4-week period.
If your situation continues, you can re-apply for a payment for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods)
Employment Insurance for your employees who
have been laid off
Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.
If you are eligible, visit the EI sickness benefits page to apply.
Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:
- The one-week waiting period for EI sickness benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
- Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI sickness benefits waiting period
- People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
- People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay
Important: Prior to April 6th, individuals who are without work and are eligible for EI can continue to apply for Employment Insurance but after April 6th you will be redirected to the CERB. If you are directly affected by the COVID-19 because you are sick or quarantined and you have not yet applied for EI benefits, please submit your application before contacting us. This will allow us to better serve you and prevent delays in establishing your claim.
If you have already completed the application for EI sickness benefits whether you are sick or quarantined and would like to have the one-week waiting period waived, call the new toll-free phone number below. It is important to note that no other request will be actioned on this phone line. We will take action only for sick or quarantined clients affected by the COVID-19 for which the application for sickness benefits has been filed.
- Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
- Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-800-529-3742
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