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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) – For Workers - April 2, 2020 (Updated April 6, 2020)

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

There is an overwhelming amount of information about the various emergency relief programs available to Canadians. The rules are changing rapidly and can be hard for individuals to follow. Clearly Financials would like to share our summary of Canada Emergency Response Benefit, based on the information available today, April 2, 2020.

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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

For employed and self-employed Canadians that have lost income due to COVID-19.

Benefit Amount

$2,000 for a 4 week period

Up to 16 weeks

Who Can Apply


  • employed or self-employed.

  • stopped working because of COVID-19, or are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits.

  • who earned income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of application. *Update April 6, 2020*

  • An update was released on the Government of Canada website on April 6, 2020, indicating that certain types of dividends will be considered to be "earned income" for the purposes of the CERB.

  • Expect to be without employment or self-employment for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period

  • Expect to have no employment income for remaining 4 week periods.

  • At least 15 years of age.

If you have not stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the benefit. You cannot quit your job voluntarily.

How to Apply

Applications begin April 6.

Prior to April 6, individuals eligible for EI may apply for EI benefits.

2. My Service Canada Account (Log in and “Switch to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)”)

3. Automated telephone service: 1-800-959-2019

You must re-apply for multiple 4-week periods, up to 16 weeks.

Staggered Application Days

Table showing staggered CERB application dates.
CERB Staggered Application Dates

Payment Methods

Direct Deposit

Make sure your direct deposit information is up to date.

Payments should be made 3 days after your application date


Payments should be made 10 days after your application date

Documentation Required

You will need to provide:

  • Your contact info

  • Your Social Insurance Number

  • Confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements

You may be asked to provide additional documentation at a later date.

Employment Insurance (EI) and CERB

  • If you are eligible for regular EI benefits, you should apply for employment insurance as soon as possible.

  • If you are not eligible for regular EI benefits, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit when the system opens up on April 6, 2020.

  • If you applied for regular EI benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will automatically be processed through the CERB benefit.

  • If you are receiving EI, you do not need to reapply. You will continue to receive these benefits until the end of your benefit period. If your regular EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, you may be eligible for CERB benefits when your regular EI benefits end.

  • You cannot be paid EI benefits and CERB for the same period.

  • The period that you receive the CERB will not impact your EI entitlement.

In Closing

These are trying times for many people. We are working hard at Clearly Financials to support our local communities in Edmonton through these unprecedented challenges.

Realize that you are not alone, that we are in this together and most importantly that there is hope.

For other COVID-19 updates, please view the resources on our website.



This is a summarized version of complex matters that are rapidly changing. We expect further clarification from the government in the coming days. Book an appointment to speak with us if you have any questions about your specific accounting or tax needs.


Clearly Financials Chartered Professional Accountants. Cloud-Based Accounting and Taxation Solutions for You and Your Small Business

We also provide personal tax preparation services for individuals and families.

Our office is located in Edmonton, Alberta. Through the power of cloud technology, we are able serve clients throughout Canada.

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