Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is an emergency benefit program created by the Government of Canada to support Canadian individuals during this crisis. The benefit is evolving, with new information, benefits, and requirements announced as they are available. Visit the official page for the most current information about eligibility and benefits.

CERB provides a $2000 payment over a four-week eligibility period, for up to 16 weeks.

Who can apply for the CERB?

You may be eligible for the CERB if you stopped working due to COVID-19 and:

  • Live in Canada
  • Are at least 15 years old
  • Have not received the CERB or EI benefits during the eligibility period
  • Did NOT quit your job voluntarily
  • Earned at least $5000 (before taxes) over the past 12 months or during 2019

What is the eligibility period?

CERB eligibility is available in four-week blocks, up to a maximum of 16 weeks. If your employment situation changes, you will need to re-apply should you stop working again.

Changes to the CERB program:

On August 20, 2020, the Government of Canada announced changes to the CERB and introduced three new benefits to help Canadians whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic.

Changes to CERB – the program has been extended an additional four weeks (to a maximum of 28 weeks). Additionally, the CERB is being transitioned to the Employment Insurance (EI) program, ensuring Canadians have access to better supports that will help them through the next phase of our recovery.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) – this new program for self-employed workers who are not eligible for EI offers $400 per week up to 26 weeks. There may be repayment requirements on this taxable benefit, but it should provide good value to those working in the gig economy.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) – workers who are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19 may be eligible for a $500 per week benefit, up to two weeks.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) – Canadians unable to work due to school or daycare closures, closures of care facilities affecting family members with a disability, or care required under the advice of a medical professional may be eligible for $500 per week, up to 26 weeks

How do you apply for the CERB?

If you are eligible, you can apply for the CERB through the My Account page on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website or via an automated phone service at 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041.

What if I have more questions about the CERB?

General information and agent support is available at 1-833-966-2099.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Learn more about the CESB and the Canada Student Service Grant here.


Stay safe, observe the best practices, and help Canada overcome this pandemic.