Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit are now open

Apr 6 2020, 7:07 am

Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are now open online.

According to the federal government, Canadians who have lost income due to COVID-19 can expect their payment in three to five business days from when they apply if they are using direct deposit.

This means most Canadians who are eligible will receive $2,000 before the end of next week.

Canadians looking to get more information about the CERB or, who are unable to apply online, can call the toll-free telephone line at 1-833-966-2099.

“Our top priority is to get funds into the hands of Canadians quickly and efficiently. Thousands of CRA employees across the country have been reassigned to bolster our call centre capacity, and our systems have been tested in anticipation of the expected record volumes starting April 6,” said Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue.

“CERB recipients will see the money in their registered direct deposit bank account within three to five business days or through the mail within 10 business days.”

The Canadian government announced, to help manage the volume of applications through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Service Canada, applicants will be asked to apply over four days depending on their month of birth.

Canadians who have already applied for EI do not need to reapply.

To date, over 1.2 million of the EI applications received since March 15 have been processed through the new CERB.

CERB schedule

Government of Canada

“We have taken unprecedented action to help thousands of Canadians who suddenly find themselves, at no fault of their own, without an income,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at his daily press conference at Rideau Cottage on Sunday.

At Trudeau’s press conference, a reporter pointed out the CERB pays more per month than someone would make working at a part-time job for minimum wage. When asked whether that person should continue to work or apply for the CERB, Trudeau suggested they apply for the CERB, since its goal is to let people stay home in order to follow public health recommendations.

“We want people to stay home and not to work [in person] unless it’s absolutely essential,” he said.

Canadians can apply for the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency or through Service Canada.

Daily Hive has guides on how to apply for the CERB and EI, and how the two programs are different.

With files from Megan Devlin.