Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

What is CERB?

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

Who is eligible to apply?

The benefit will be available to workers:

  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old; 
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.


CERB is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for this Benefit.  For example, if you are a student who had a job last year and were planning on working this summer you do not qualify for the benefit. If an individual quits their employment voluntarily, without reasons related to COVID-19 they are not eligible for these benefits.


CERB covers individuals who:

  • lost their job; 
  • are sick;
  • quarantined;
  • taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
  • are working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures; and
  • wage-earners, salary-earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) who lost their income because of COVID-19.

How to apply:

CERB is being jointly delivered by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency.  The online portal for applications is now open.  The link below will take you to the page to begin the process.  You will be asked a few simple questions. The answers you provide will help direct you to the service option that best fits your situation. 

Once your application is processed and approved, people can expect to receive the benefit within 10 days of applying. Payments will be made through direct deposit or by cheque.  You will be paid more quickly if you choose direct deposit (3 – 5 days). Those who are eligible will have this funding up to a maximum of 16 weeks, between March 15th (retroactive) and October 3rd 2020.

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