Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the federal government is planning to extend the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
According to the prime minister, they are working on a “solution to extend CERB for those that can’t return to work yet.”
Trudeau said more information on the extension will be coming this week.
“If you’re having trouble finding a job, you shouldn’t also be worrying about whether you’ll hit the limit of your CERB benefits,” Trudeau said.
“We will be there for you,” he said on Monday, adding that Canadians can be reassured that the government “will continue to be there to support them.”
The CERB gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19.
Those eligible can receive $2,000 for a four-week period (the same as $500 a week).
The benefit was available from March 15, and was supposed to be maxed out at 16 weeks. This means those who applied for the benefit in March would be running out by July 15.
Last week, NDP leader Jagmet Singh called on Trudeau to extend the CERB.
On Wednesday, Singh said that the benefit must be extended for “people in need” and to remove the “heavy fines” and “jail penalties” for people who applied for the CERB and didn’t need it.
And, “instead use the tax system to recover the money and bring in help for all Canadians living with disabilities,” the NDP leader said.
During a press conference last week, Trudeau said the government will not punish those who mistakenly claimed the CERB, or mistakenly claimed it while also receiving Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
But, at the time, the prime minister said, there will be punishment for criminals who try to take advantage of the programs.
For those who applied for both the CERB and the wage subsidy, Trudeau said they would not be punished for making the mistake. They will, however, need to payback the one that shouldn’t have been taken.