The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has ended for many participants. So what happens now?
Transitioning from CERB to Employment Insurance
Those who have not yet hit the 28-week maximum will continue receiving their CERB payment until they max out or reach October 3rd. New applicants who now realize they were eligible at any point between March 15th and October 3rd can apply retroactively up until December 2nd.
Those who have maxed out their CERB eligibility are being transitioned onto Employment Insurance.
The new Employment Insurance program will let Canadians transitioning onto it from the CERB receive the same amount — $500 per week, which is taxable — for at least 26 weeks.
How to apply for Employment Insurance
For Canadians who applied for and received the CERB through Service Canada, the transition to Employment Insurance will happen automatically.
For those who maxed out this past weekend, Employment Insurance payments should start for roughly 80 per cent of them by October 14th, while others may have a wait of approximately two weeks more.
The exception here is anyone receiving the benefit through Service Canada who is also self-employed or who has a 900-series social insurance number will need to apply again.
Applications can be made through the My Service Canada account.
As well, anyone who applied for and received the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency will need to apply for Employment Insurance again through Service Canada and a My Service Canada account.
Not eligible for Employment Insurance?
Although the Employment Insurance criteria have changed, there will still be people who do not qualify based on the number of hours and income lost.
The government is in the process of debating legislation to create three new federal benefits aimed at those who do not qualify for Employment Insurance; namely:
- The Canada Recovery Benefit. Like the new Employment Insurance plan, the new benefit will provide $500 weekly for 26 weeks but will target people whose income has dropped by at least half. These include self-employed people.
- The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, which will provide $500 per week for no more than two weeks to Canadians “who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.”
- The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit, which will provide $500 per week for up to 26 weeks to households where someone is forced to stay home from work to care for either a child under the age of 12 or a family member who would normally be cared for at a school, daycare or care home that is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
All three benefits will be run through the Canada Revenue Agency, and Canadians will have to directly apply. They can do this at any point between now and September 25, 2021.
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