Applications For Canada Emergency Response Benefit Now Open

Marco Green
April 6, 2020

Just several hours after it became operational, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said hundreds of thousands of applications had already been submitted and approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). While the initial plan excluded some Canadians that needed the aid, Trudeau revealed that a new update will include people like gig workers, contractors and students.

"For people in all of these situations, we see you and we're going to be there for you", said the prime minister. In order to be eligible, applicants must have earned at least $5,000 in the past 12 months or in 2019 as a whole, and must be out of work for reasons directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the week, applications will open to others born April through December.

Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos, speaking shortly after noon in Ottawa, said 300,000 Canadians applied for the CERB benefit Monday morning.

Trudeau also announced a new application is coming.

If you stopped working because of #COVID19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit may provide you with temporary income support of $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

He says there will also be further eligibility requirements for those working but making less than they would with the benefit.

Trudeau also suggested Monday that some essential workers, such as those working in long term care facilities or seniors residences, would receive a top up to their pay to ensure they are not receiving less than what is offered through CERB.

Over two million Canadians lost their jobs in the last half of March as businesses across the country were forced to close or reduce their operations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. He explained in his Monday press conference that the 2.5 million applications for Employment Insurance (EI) the government has received in recent weeks "were processed quickly", despite being more than the government usually receives in a year. That's despite these sectors representing 14 per cent of the national workforce past year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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