Yesterday, as anticipated, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government is extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by 8 weeks, to ensure Canadians have the help they need as they transition back to work. This extension will make the benefit available to eligible workers for up to a total of 24 weeks.
The CERB was made available to immediately help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so they could continue to put food on the table and pay their bills during this challenging time. As we begin to restart the economy and get people back on the job, Canadians receiving the benefit should be actively seeking work opportunities or planning to return to work, provided they are able and it is reasonable to do so.
The CERB is a taxable benefit of $2,000 over a four-week period for eligible workers who have stopped working or whose work hours have been reduced, due to COVID-19.
The CERB is available to workers who:
- live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
- have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19, or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits, or have exhausted their EI regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020
- had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application
- have not earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income per benefit period while collecting the CERB
- have not quit their job voluntarily