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COVID-19 Canada Emergency Response Benefit

COVID-19 Canada Emergency Response Benefit

MaxPeople has summarized the COVID-19 Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help you answer the following questions:

What is it?

  • Bill C-13, COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, introduces the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (the “CERB”).
  • The CERB gives working people who cease working and stop receiving income because of COVID-19 disruptions for at least fourteen (14) days a monthly payment of $2000.
  • The CERB will temporarily replace all new applications for Employment Insurance (“EI”) applications related to COVID-19.

Who is Eligible?

  • The CERB covers Canadian residents who have (1) stopped working and (2) lost their income for at least fourteen (14) consecutive days in a four (4) week period because of COVID-19.
  • Any resident of Canada who is 15 years old or older, and who, for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day on which they make an application has a total income of at least $5,000 from:
    • employment; or
    • self-employment;
    • EI maternity benefits; or
    • EI parental benefits.
  • You are eligible for the CERB if due to COVID-19 you have:
    • lost your job;
    • are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
    • are a working parent who is staying home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures;
    • are employed but are not receiving income because of disruptions to your work situation; or
    • while not ordinarily eligible for EI (i.e. wage earners, contract workers and self-employed) have lost income because of COVID-19.

When Will It Be Available?

  • The CERB will be in place, retroactively from March 15, 2020, until October 3, 2020.
  • However, the program will not commence until April 6.
    • One can expect to receive their CERB payments within ten (10) days of application beginning after April 6;
    • Entitlement to the CERB only begins fourteen (14) days after your employer stopped paying you; and
    • There is no one-week waiting period “deductible” like regular EI.

What Will I Receive?

  • All approved workers will receive $2,000 per month (taxable income) for up to four (4) months.
  • There does not appear to be any calculation any consideration given to your income level.

How does the CERB effect Employment Insurance (EI)?

  • The CERB will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) while EI is handled by Service Canada.
  • You cannot receive EI and the CERB at the same time.
  • Existing EI applications that came as a result of COVID-19 will be rolled into the CERB program. As such, there is no need to re-apply.
  • The CERB amount ($2000) is less pay than regular EI for workers who earned over $54,200 per year (i.e. $500 weekly earnings vs $573).
  • However, we believe EI eligibility months will not be deducted while on the CERB.
    • Therefore, once the 4-month CERB has been utilized, if you are still eligible, you can receive your full number of months of EI at the $573 rate.
  • In the event you are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of April 6, 2020, you should not apply to receive the CERB.
    • When these benefits end, you may then apply for the CERB.

If you are still uncertain as to whether you are eligible to meet the criteria provided by the provincial government, please reach out to our team at Rodney Employment Law at 905-695-5995 or our HR Team at MaxPeople at 905-709-1236 and we will provide you with expert advice and support you with any key initiatives that are required.

At MaxPeople and Rodney Employment Law, we want to reinforce our commitment to providing timely and expert advise to existing and potential clients to guarantee a peace of mind during this extremely difficult and ever changing situation.