The Tax Blog for Smart Canadians

Tips and tricks for Canadian tax filers at every stage of life

From UFile's tax expert Gerry Vittoratos.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Apr 13, 2021 by System
The federal government has announced a new measure to help workers who have been directly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). What is it, and how does it affect you?


UFile Blog - Emergency-response

A new employment insurance benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a new taxable benefit that will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit announced in the Economic Response Plan.

Who is eligible?

You are eligible for the CERB if you are:

  • a worker who must stop working due to COVID-19 and who does not have access to paid leave or other income support;
  • a worker who is sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
  • a working parent who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures;
  • a worker who still has their employment but is not being paid because there is currently not enough work, and whose employer asked them not to come to work;
  • a wage earner or a self-employed individual, including a contract worker, who would not otherwise be eligible for employment insurance.

Update: On April 15th the federal government announced the following changes:

  • Individuals are now allowed to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
  • The CERB is extended to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
  • The CERB is extended to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.

For 2019, or within the 12 months preceding your application, you must have earned at least $5,000 in employment, self-employment, employment insurance (EI) or parental benefits. You must also be unemployed for at least 14 consecutive days within the four-week period in respect of which you apply for the benefit. During this four-week period, you will not be eligible for the benefit if you received income such as employment, self-employment, EI or parental benefits.

The benefit will not be paid to individuals who resign from their job voluntarily.

How much can you receive and for how long?

As mentioned above, the benefit amount will be $2,000 per month, or $500 per week. It will be paid for up to four months. The amounts received will be taxable for the 2020 tax year.

When and where can you apply?

The application process for the CERB will open in early April. The deadline to apply for this benefit is December 2, 2020. You can apply for the benefit through:

Payments for the CERB will be made within 10 days of submitting the application.

For more information on the CERB, and the Economic Response Plan, please consult the link below:

Want to learn more? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates on tax return and UFile online tax software. Visit Let's Talk Tax to get accurate answers to all your questions about your tax return.

Presented by UFile's tax expert
Gerry Vittoratos


Last Blog posts

More questions? We have answers.


(Long distance charges may apply.)