As of April 6, the federal government has officially started accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB is open to workers (including many salon owners and hairstylists) affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The taxable benefit pays up to $2,000 every month for up to four months, and is eligible to workers who have lost all sources of income due to COVID-19. Find out whether you are eligible and how to apply below:
Am I Eligible?
You’re a worker who:
– Resides in Canada and is at least 15 years old
– Has stopped working because of COVID-19.
– Did not voluntarily quit their job.
– Had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of your application
– Is or expects to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, you also expect to have no employment or self-employment income.
Side note: If you became eligible for E.I. regular or sickness benefits on March 15 or later, your CERB claim has been automatically processed, so you don’t need to send in a separate application. But if you applied for other E.I. benefits, including maternity, parental caregiving, fishing and work sharing, you should still apply.
When Can I Apply?
In order for the federal government’s website to handle the large volume of applications, the government has set a staggered application schedule based on birth month. Find out below when it’s your turn to apply:
– January to March: April 6 (Mondays)
– April to June: April 7 (Tuesdays)
– July to September: April 8 (Wednesdays)
– October to December: April 9 (Thursdays)
– Any months: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
What are the Eligibility Periods?
If you are eligible to receive this taxable benefit, you’re allotted up to $2,000 every month for a maximum of four months. You will be required to re-apply every four weeks to receive the next month’s payment.
The CERB is available from March 15 to October 3.
How Can I Apply?
Currently, there are two ways to submit an application:
1. Online with CRA My Account
2. By telephone with an automated phone service
Both services are available every day between 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. EST.
What Will I Need?
– Social Insurance Number
– Personal contact information
– The ability to prove your eligibility if asked for proper documentation at a future date
What Happens After I Send My Application?
Once your application is processed, you should receive your first payment in three business days through direct deposit or by 10 days if you requested a cheque.
Due to this being a taxable benefit, you will also be required to report any payments on your 2021 tax filing.
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