Feds expand access to Canada Emergency Response Benefit program

by Morinville News Staff

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that the government is offering more support for those who need help but don’t qualify for the CERB, as well as Canadians working in essential jobs who make less than they would if they received the benefit.

“We will do whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of Canadians while making sure that our workers and businesses are supported,” Trudeau said. “This is an extremely difficult time for all Canadians, and we need to make sure that essential workers have the support they need so they can continue to do the critical work we all rely on. Together, we will get through this difficult time.”

The government will be changing the eligibility rules on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program to allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB, and extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additional measures include extending the CERB to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.

In recognition that essential workers’ salaries are often less or similar than what they would receive from the CERB, the government says it will work with provinces and territories through a new transfer to cost-share a temporary top-up to the salaries of workers deemed essential in the fight against COVID-19, who make less than $2,500 a month. The feds say they will release details on that change soon.

More details on CERB can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

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