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NEW DETAILS: The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

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Canada Emergency Response Benefit

What Is It?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary emergency income support to workers who have stopped working and are without employment or self- employment income for reasons related to COVID-19.The Canada Emergency Response Benefit replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit announced on March 18, 2020.


Who Is Eligible:

The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you have not stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit.  Available to workers:

  • residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old; who have stopped working because of COVID-19;
  • who had income of  at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and who are or expect to be without employment or
  • self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.

Funding Available:

$2,000 a month for up to 4 months (March, April, May and June)


Who Applies?

The individual seeking funding who is no longer working.


How To Apply?

Eligible workers, whether or not they are eligible for Employment Insurance, will apply through an application process.

Applications will be accepted starting April 6, 2020 at Canada.ca/coronavirus.

Applicants will be asked simple questions that help direct them to one of two service options:

  • Canadians who would generally be eligible for EI benefits will be directed to apply for the CERB through Service Canada through Appliweb;
  • or Canadians who would generally not be eligible for EI benefits will be directed to apply for the CERB through the CRA’s MyAccount or CRA’s automated toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019.

There is no waiting period and direct deposit payments will be delivered into accounts within three business days of applicants being eligible to receive it, and cheques within 10 days.


Read the Government's Media Release

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

What Is It?

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy of 75% for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020, will support businesses that are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and will help protect Canadian jobs.

All employers would be expected to at least make best efforts to top up salaries to 100% of the maximum wages covered.


Who Is Eligible:

Employers who suffer a drop in gross revenues of at least 30% in March, April or May, when compared to the same month in 2019, would be able to access the subsidy.

Eligible employers, including non-profit and charitable organizations, would include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public sector entities.


Funding Available:

A rate of 75% of the first $58,700 normally earned by employees – representing a benefit of up to $847 per week.

The program will be in place for a 12-week period, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.

An eligible employer’s entitlement to this wage subsidy will be based entirely on the salary or wages actually paid to employees.

The government is also considering additional support for non-profits and charities, particularly those involved in the front line response to COVID-19. Further details will be announced in the near term.


Who Applies?

The organization seeking funding that is still operating.


How To Apply?

Eligible employers will be able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by applying through a Canada Revenue Agency online portal.

Organizations will have to apply for the funding each month (March, April and May).

More details regarding how to apply for the program will follow.


Read the Government's Media Release

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