Posted on March 25th, 2020 in General Business, Human Resources Advisory


On March 25, 2020, the Federal Government announced an update to their previous Economic Response Plan. Full details of the plan can be found here. We’ve created a helpful resource for workers affected by COVID-19 to help determine eligibility for the various government supports.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB is a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.



If You Were Born in the Month of

Apply for CERB on Your Best Day to Apply
January, February, or March Mondays April 6

April, May, or June

Tuesdays April 7
July, August, or September Wednesdays April 8
October, November, or December Thursdays April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays  


This legislation will provide eligible Canadians with their first CERB payments within 10 days of their application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.

Who is eligible?

The CERB would cover Canadians (including wage earners, contract workers, and self-employed individuals) who:

  • Must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.  For example, someone who has been laid off from their workplace due to a shutdown or shortage of work.
  • Are sick. For example, someone who has been asked not to work by their employer because they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • Quarantined. For example, someone who is in a 14-day quarantine because they have travelled outside of Canada.
  • Taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19. For example, someone who is taking care of an elderly parent who has tested positive.
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick. For example, someone who is taking care of a child who is experiencing flu-like symptoms or other illness.
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children at home because of school and daycare closures. For example, someone who is unable to find a suitable option to provide care for their child(ren).
  • Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19. For example, this may apply to someone who has opted not to work due to their proximity with a vulnerable family member.

NOTE: This also applies to individuals who would otherwise be eligible for EI benefits and who have NOT currently applied.

What if I have already applied for EI?

Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should NOT apply to the CERB.

If an individual’s EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they can apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease and they are still unable to return to work due to COVID-19.

Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would NOT need to reapply and should NOT apply for the CERB.

To determine your ability to change the status of your current claim, you will need to inquire with Service Canada.

How do I apply?

The portal launch for accessing the CERB is April 6, 2020.  

Individuals can apply in one of these three ways:

  1. By accessing it on your CRA MyAccount secure portal – download our “How to guide” for step-by-step instructions;
  2. By accessing it from your secure My Service Canada Account; or
  3. By calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.

The link to apply to the CERB should be available through your CRA MyAccount on April 6, 2020.

Please note that once you have created your CRA MyAccount, there is a delay of 5-10 days before receiving the security code to complete your registration. If you plan to apply for this benefit, we suggest you create your CRA MyAccount today. For more detailed information on the CERB, please visit the CRA information page.

EI-eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI, as can Canadians applying for other EI benefits.

Please contact the DJB Human Resources Advisory Team should you have additional questions.  Please continue to remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.

The information contained in this article does not constitute legal or other professional advice. This article is current as of March 25, 2020 and applies only to Canada.



More articles related to COVID-19: Business Resource Centre