On April 15, the government announced changes to the eligibility rules to:
- Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
- Extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work because of COVID-19.
- Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job because of COVID-19.
CERB applications are now open! Visit the following link to apply: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html
If you have applied for EI already, you do NOT need to apply for CERB. Those who became eligible for EI on March 15th or later will automatically have their claims processed through CERB.
The benefit is $2,000 a month for up to four months, directly paid to Canadians impacted by COVID-19, whether you are not working because you are sick, or you’ve been laid off or lost work hours because of the pandemic or if you are taking care of a family member who is sick or a child who is at home due to school closures.
To qualify, applicants must have had $5,000 in employment income, self-employment income, or maternity or parental leave benefits for 2019 or in the 12-month period preceding the day they make the application.
Canadians cannot receive EI and CERB at the same time, however, if you are eligible for EI as of March 15th or later, you will receive CERB instead for 16 weeks, at which point you can apply for regular EI benefits. The period of time you are receiving CERB will not impact your EI eligibility.
Eligible applicants will receive their first payment within 10 days of submitting their application. For more details and answers for CERB questions, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application/questions.html
There is now a COVID-19-specific EI claims phone line: (833) 381-2725
Use the following link in Internet Explorer ONLY to start your EI application process: www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/apply.html
Please note that as of today, March 23rd, the average EI processing time is over 30 days. My colleagues and I continue to press the government to address this delay and close the gap.
Those self-isolating for COVID-19 do not need a doctor's note and are able to apply for EI Sick Benefits for up to 15 weeks of benefits.
The 1-week waiting period for EI benefits has been waived.
One of the greatest challenges remains that announcements made of plans that are being put into place often have a delay before that are accessible to the public. As further updates with tangible information become available, they will be posted here.
If you have any questions for our office, please send them via email to: [email protected]