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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Published on April 30, 2020 PDF(opens a new window)

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit that would provide $500 a week for up to 16 weeks for workers who lose their income due to reasons related to COVID-19.1 This includes Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19 as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are at home because of school and daycare closures. Workers are defined as anyone who received at least $5,000 in the previous 12 months in employment income, self-employment income, Employment Insurance benefits, or other provincial benefits as outlined in Bill C-13. Workers who earn less than $1,000 in a 4-week period are eligible for the CERB. Individuals who have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020 are also eligible for the CERB. After taking into account the interaction between the CERB and CEWS, PBO estimates there will be 8.5 million unique recipients the CERB and the program will have a total cost of $35.5 billion in 2020-2021.