COVID-19: Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): what you need to know

The federal government has streamlined the COVID-19 emergency benefits program designed to assist Canadians and businesses. The CERB is part of a suite of measures in new legislation introducing a $107-billion emergency response program, which was passed by the Senate on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) offers income support for up to 16 weeks to those who lose pay because of the pandemic.
  • It’s available to wage earners, contract workers and self-employed people who don’t qualify for employment insurance (EI).
  • The online portal to apply for CERB will be available in early April, and people can expect payments within 10 days. CERB payments will be issued every four weeks and will be available from March 15, 2020, to Oct. 3, 2020. 
  • This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

Find out more about CERB and government support for Canadians.