Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the federal government is officially extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
According to the prime minister, the CERB is extended by eight weeks, as of Tuesday morning.
The announcement comes one day after Trudeau said the government was looking to extend the benefit.
“The reality is that even as we start to reopen, a lot of people still need this support to pay their bills while they look for work,” Trudeau said.
He said that there are three million people out of work who are looking, and that this will be the situation for the immediate future.
The prime minister added that over the next few weeks, the federal government will monitor the economy to see if the benefit program needs to be adjusted.
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.
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 pay back the one that shouldn’t have been taken.