Introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to workers and business (“CERB”)

March 25, 2020, the government has proposed legislation today to establish the CERB. Below is a brief summary:


  • Residing in Canada
  • At least 15 years old
  • Workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of the application. (Announced on April 15, 2020 that people who make less than $1,000 a month due to reduced work hours will also qualify).
  • CRA also confirmed that tips, royalties and non-eligible dividends paid by a corporation to a shareholder will all qualify toward the $5,000 requirement.
  • Contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for the Employment Insurance (“EI”).


  • $2,000 a month for up to 4 months. (Extended for additional 8 weeks).
  • The CERB benefit would be paid every 4 weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.


  • No need to apply if already receiving EI as of March 25, 2020.
  • Could apply for CERB once their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020 if unable to return to work.
  • No need to apply if already applied for EI and the application has not yet been processed.
  • The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April.


***For Student working part-time***

If a student who has been working part-time during the school year and lost his/her part-time job because of COVID-19, the student will qualify for the CERB provided he/she meets the income requirements and limits that mentioned above.


This article is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.  Income tax law and regulation change frequently and the content on this article may no longer reflect the current state of the law. If you have any specific questions, you should consult a professional services advisor or email or for further advice.