Update for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

April 16, 2020

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Original article published April 3, 2020. Updated regularly as new information arises. 

If you stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support.

The CERB provides $500 a week ($2000/month) for up to 16 weeks. The benefit is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020.

Who can apply

Available to employees and self-employed individuals:

  • Residing in Canada, 15 years of age or older
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance or sickness benefits OR who have exhausted their Employer Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.
  • Who had an income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of application (may be any combination of employment income, self-employment income, maternity and parental benefits and now includes seasonal workers and artists).
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.

When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.

When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.

How to apply

Applications can be made beginning April 6, 2020 the following ways:

  • Online with CRA My Account
  • Over the phone with an automated phone service

Important!  You can be ready to apply by ensuring your mailing address or direct deposit information are current with CRA, setting up your CRA My Account (if applying online – visit this website for information on how to do this), and checking which day you are eligible to apply per the chart below:

Whether you apply online or by phone, the CRA wants to provide the best service possible to everyone. To help manage this, the CRA has set up specific days for you to apply. Please use the following guidelines:

If you were born in the month ofApply for CERB onYour best day to apply
January, February or MarchMondaysApril 6
April, May, or JuneTuesdaysApril 7
July, August, or SeptemberWednesdaysApril 8
October, November, or DecemberThursdaysApril 9
Any monthFridays, Saturdays and Sundays


For more information:




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