Applications for Canada Emergency Response Benefit open next week

Apr 1 2020, 8:52 am

Applications for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will open next week, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

On Wednesday, Trudeau said that starting April 6, if you haven’t requested Employment Insurance (EI), you will be able to apply for the CERB.

Applicants who have requested EI won’t need to register for the CERB.

As well, Trudeau said that the CERB can’t be combined with the wage subsidy from businesses.

Last week, the federal government announced it would offer a 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15. This is meant to help businesses keep and return workers to the payroll.

The financial measures have been introduced to help the projection of the current economy through the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Trudeau, there is a wide range of scenarios in play, but current physical distancing measures will be in place for “a number of more weeks, perhaps months.”

He also said the government is taking whatever measures necessary to help.

As of next week, the wage subsidy will be available to small or big businesses that aren’t publicly funded, and can include bars and restaurants, as well as charities and non-profits.

The CERB applications will be open through the CRA, and Trudeau said that there will be “stiff and severe penalties” for those trying to take advantage of the system.

If applying online, with direct deposit requested, applicants can expect the payment within three to five days.

And for those who apply, you’ll need to check-in online monthly and confirm you are still out of work to continue receiving the payment.

Anyone who can’t apply online can call Canada Revenue Agency, and can have their cheques mailed.

“We all have to answer the call of duty, this is service most of us have never been called upon to do,” said Trudeau. “Each of us have to live up to our end of the bargain.”

He said that listening to public health rule “is your duty, staying home is your way to serve.”

“Be smart about the choices you make, that is how you will serve your country and how we will all serve each other.”

Last week, when Trudeau introduced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, he also said there will be $12.5 billion available through Export Development Canada and the Businesses Development Bank of Canada to help with cash flow.

He also announced the government will defer HST and GST payments and custom duty payments until June.

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