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For employees, Employment insurance is a way to have income for 15 weeks because you have been let go from your employment due to no fault. ย But for those who are self-employed and have never paid into Employment Insurance, the Federal Government announced the future implementation of an Emergency Care Benefit and an Emergency Support Benefit. ย More details were released March 25, 2020 and the coverage was expanded to more individual and was replaced with one benefit called the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

Who is Eligible

The criteria to be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit is that you must be:

  1. 15 years of age
  2. Resident of Canada
  3. Had a total income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the previous 12 months before an application is made
  4. Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job
  5. And lastly the worker or self-employed individual must expect to be without income due to COVID-19 for at least 14 consecutive days within the initial 4 week period. ย Also, for the subsequent benefit periods, it is expected that you will have no income

What is classified as ``Stopped Working``

Some of the examples of stopped working include some of the following however is not fully limited to these examples.

  1. Your hours have been reduced to zero but you have not yet been let go or laid off
  2. In quarantine or sick due to COVID-19
  3. Away from work to care other who are sick or in quarantine
  4. Away from work to care for children or other dependents whose childcare facility is closed

What`s the Benefit Amount

The benefit amount is a taxable benefit of $500 week for up to 16 weeks and Canadians can expect to receive their income within 10 days of application. ย The benefit is eligible to be paid from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020. ย The benefit amount is paid in blocks of four week periods.

How to Apply

  1. Online April 6, 2020
  2. Automated Telephone Line
  3. Toll-Free Number
  4. CRA has provided a schedule as to when to apply based on the month of your birthday base on the schedule below

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EI or Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

If you are eligible for Employment Insurance, you should apply. ย Those who have applied for EI on March 15, 2020 or after, your application will automatically be processed though the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. ย 

Those who are not Eligible

If you are still able to perform your work from home and can earn an income this benefit will not be available. ย It is there for those self-employed business owners who cannot go to work and cannot earn an income.

If you did not have a job prior to COVID-19 and were planning on working beginning now, Government of Canada is indicating that you are not eligible for this benefit.

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

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