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Service Canada

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

People who are covered include those who lost their jobs, those who are sick, quarantined, or looking after someone who has COVID-19, as well as parents who have to stay home with children, and contract workers or those self-employed.


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) announced will allow applicants to receive $2000 a month for the next four months for those who have lost their income during the coronavirus pandemic.

Additionally, the Government of Canada said “workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.”


Trudeau said the online portal will be available as soon as possible, and Canadians will get the funds “within 10 days of applying.”


The federal government is looking to get money out “quickly and reliably” and Trudeau said that the system will be up and running by April 6.

If you are sick or quarantined

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. 


Service Canada is ready to support Canadians affected by COVID-19 and placed in quarantine, with the following support actions:

  • The one-week waiting period for EI Sickness Benefits will be waived for new claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim
  • Establishing a new dedicated toll-free phone number to support enquiries related to waiving the EI Sickness Benefits waiting period 
  • Priority EI application processing for EI sickness claims for clients under quarantine 
  • People claiming EI sickness benefits due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate
  • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay


Call 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free), the Coronavirus EI hotline for more information

If you are out of work due to the Coronavirus but are not quarantined or sick

Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (for example, due to shortage of work, seasonal or mass lay-offs) and are available for and able to work, but can't find a job. 


Always apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment (ROE). If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.


You may be entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits if you: 

  • were employed in insurable employment;
  • lost your job through no fault of your own;
  • have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks;
  • have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter;
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day;
  • are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them).


The number of hours of insurable employment you need to qualify for EIdepends on your situation. However, in all cases, the hours of insurable employment that are used to calculate your benefit must have been accumulated during your qualifying period.

The qualifying period is the shorter of:

  • the 52-week period immediately before the start date of your claim; or
  • the period from the start of a previous benefit period to the start of your new benefit period, if you applied for benefits earlier and your application was approved in the last 52 weeks.


What you Need Before You Apply

  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
  • your mother’s maiden name.
  • your mailing and residential addresses, including the postal code
  • your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, bank branch number, and account number
  • names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks
  • your detailed version of the facts (if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks)
  • the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings. This information will be used, along with your Record(s) of Employment, to calculate your benefit rate**


**If you do not know the earning for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings that is ok. Service Canada will calculate based on your ROE**


To access your Record of Employment you will need a Service Canada account. Visit the following link for more instructions https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/ei/ei-list/ei-roe.html

Temporary Income Support for Workers & Parents

For Canadians without paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined or forced to stay home to care for children, the Government is: 

  • Waiving the one-week waiting period for those individuals in imposed quarantine that claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. This temporary measure is in effect as of March 15, 2020. 
  • Waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
  • Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks. This flat-payment Benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:
    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are quarantined or sick with COVID-19 but do not qualify for EI sickness benefits.
    • Workers, including the self-employed, who are taking care of a family member who is sick with COVID-19, such as an elderly parent, but do not quality for EI sickness benefits. 
    • Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.

Application for the Benefit will be available in April 2020, and require Canadians to attest that they meet the eligibility requirements. They will need to re-attest every two weeks to reconfirm their eligibility. Canadians will select one of three channels to apply for the Benefit: 

  1. by accessing it on their CRA MyAccount secure portal; 
  2. by accessing it from their secure My Service Canada Account; or 
  3. by calling a toll free number equipped with an automated application process.

Income Support for Individuals that Need it the Most

For over 12 million low- and modest-income families, who may require additional help with their finances, the Government is proposing to provide a one-time special payment by early May 2020 through the Goods and Services Tax credit (GSTC). 


The average boost to income for those benefitting from this measure will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples. 


For over 3.5 million families with children, who may also require additional support, the Government is proposing to increase the maximum annual Canada Child Benefit (CCB) payment amounts, only for the 2019-20 benefit year, by $300 per child. The overall increase for families receiving CCB will be approximately $550 on average; these families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their May payment. In total, this measure will deliver almost $2 billion in extra support. 


Together, the proposed enhancements of the GSTC and CCB will give a single parent with two children and low to modest income nearly $1,500 in additional short-term support

If you are an employer who cannot afford to pay your employees

Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer


The Work-Sharing program is implementing temporary special measures to support employers and employees affected by the downturn in business caused by COVID-19. The new temporary special measures are available to employers impacted directly or indirectly by COVID-19. The measures allows for eligible employers to retain skilled employees and workers to remain employed during the temporary downturn in business due to COVID-19. The temporary special measures will:

  • extend the Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks
  • wave the mandatory waiting period between agreements 
  • ease the recovery plan requirements


Government of Alberta

Support for Employers & Employees

Measures are in place to protect businesses, employers and employees from the economic disruption of COVID-19, including:

  • Financial relief for businesses and employers
  • Job-protected leave for employees
  • Federal employment insurance benefits
  • Business continuity planning resources
  • Utility payment deferral

Emergency Funding

If you are facing an unexpected emergency, you can apply for emergency financial assistance.

You can get help when:

  • a situation is caused by unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control, and
  • it presents a severe health risk, and
  • you cannot access other resources or wait until your next pay-cheque or Income Support benefit cheque


This allowance can cover costs for:

  • food
  • clothing
  • child care
  • transportation
  • damage deposit
  • temporary accommodation
  • utility arrears
  • eviction payments


You must provide proof of need, such as:

  • an arrears statement or eviction notice
  • a utility bill or statement for utility arrears
  • proof from a reliable source that the item is essential, like an unsafe wiring notice from the fire department


To Apply, please call: 1-877-644-9992

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