Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

On August 20th, 2020 the Government of Canada announced changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program and new income support benefits that will better support Canadians.

Extra 4 weeks available – CERB extended from 24 weeks to 28 weeks for workers who:

  • stopped working due to COVID-19 or
  • are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or
  • have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

Only apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – not both.

You may be eligible for support via other programs as well. Answer some questions to find financial help during COVID-19.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19.

If you are eligible, you can receive $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week).

On this page

Who is eligible

The Benefit is available to workers:

When submitting your first claim, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.

When submitting subsequent claims, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.

Note: Federally regulated workers taking the new leave related to COVID-19 may be eligible for this benefit.

For students who are not eligible for the CERB

Post-secondary and graduating high school students may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.

Apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

Determine if you are eligible

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please look at the following scenarios and choose the one that best describes your situation.

Expectant mother/parent

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are an expectant mother who lost your job. You are eligible for EI before March 15th. You plan to go on EI maternity benefits later

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits until you switch to EI maternity and parental benefits.

In total, you can get up to 50 weeks of EI regular, maternity and standard parental benefits. If you choose the extended parental benefits, you can get more weeks at a lower benefit rate.

You are an expectant mother who lost your job. You are eligible for Employment Insurance after March 15th. You plan to go on EI maternity benefits later.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible for the CERB until you switch to EI maternity and parental benefits.

The number of weeks you get the CERB will not affect the number of weeks you get EI maternity and parental benefits.

Find out how to apply

You are an expectant parent who lost your job. You are eligible for EI after March 15th . You plan to go on EI parental benefits later

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible for the CERB until you switch to EI parental benefits after your child is born or after your adopted child is placed with you.

The number of weeks you get the CERB does not affect the number of weeks you get EI parental benefits.

Find out how to apply

You are an expectant mother who has continued to work and will go on EI maternity benefits in the coming months

You are not eligible for the CERB if you are still working.

You may be eligible for EI maternity and parental benefits when your maternity and parental leave begins.

New mother/parent

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are a new mother/parent who received EI maternity/parental benefits. After the end of your planned leave, cannot go back because the job is gone as a result of COVID-19

You may be eligible for the CERB.

Your maternity and parental benefits count toward the $5,000 (before taxes) income eligibility requirement.

Find out how to apply

You are a new mother/parent who received EI maternity/parental benefits. You returned to work at the end of your planned leave, but lost your job a month later as a result of COVID-19

You may be eligible for the CERB.

Your maternity and parental benefits count toward the $5,000 (before taxes) income eligibility requirement.

Find out how to apply

Caring for family member(s)

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are a parent who stopped working to take care of your child(ren) while the schools are closed because of COVID-19

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible if you stopped working to care for a child because their school is closed due to COVID-19.

Find out how to apply

You are a family member who stopped working to care for your relative who has COVID-19

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible if you stopped working to care for a family member who is sick because of COVID-19.

Find out how to apply

You are a family member who stopped working to care for your relative who has a disability. Their usual care is not available because of COVID-19

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible if you stopped working to care for a family member with a disability whose usual care is not available because of COVID-19.

Find out how to apply

Change in job status/income

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are an individual whose job is still available. However, you were advised to stay at home/go into quarantine.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible if you were told to stay home by a medical professional (e.g. doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner).

Find out how to apply

You are an individual who stopped working because of COVID-19. However, you have been rehired by your employer and will earn less than $1,000 (before taxes) per month.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible if you stopped working because of COVID-19 and do not earn more than $1,000 (before taxes) for the weeks in which you are applying to the CERB.

Find out how to apply

You are an individual who stopped working because of COVID-19. However, you have been rehired by your employer and will earn more than $1,000 (before taxes) per month

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You cannot earn more than $1,000 (before taxes) for the weeks in which you are applying to the CERB.

You are an individual who has stopped working. But you get a bonus from your employer in May for work you did earlier (e.g. in January and February)

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible as long as you do not earn more than $1,000 (before taxes) for the weeks in which you are applying to the CERB. because the bonus is for work that was not done during those weeks.

Find out how to apply

You are a volunteer firefighter. You receive a small amount of money for every week you work

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible as long as you do not earn more than $1,000 (before taxes) for the weeks in which you are applying to the CERB.

Find out how to apply

You are an artist who receives royalties for your work

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible provided you do not earn more than $1,000 (before taxes) for the weeks in which you are applying to the CERB.

The $1,000 (before taxes) includes royalties earned for work you did during those weeks you are applying for the CERB, but not for work you did in other weeks.

Find out how to apply

Canadian abroad

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are a Canadian worker who normally lives in Canada. But you were on vacation outside Canada and, because of COVID-19, you cannot come back to work in Canada

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible if you planned return to work and you normally live in Canada.

Find out how to apply

You are a Canadian who is living abroad working for a Canadian company/organization.

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You must be living in Canada to be eligible.

You are a Canadian international aid worker who is back in Canada. However, you made humanitarian trips abroad and received living allowances.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible as long as you are living in Canada when you stopped working.

Find out how to apply

You are a Canadian international aid worker. You are working on a humanitarian trip abroad and you do not have a home in Canada.

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You must be living in Canada to be eligible.

Unable to work/unemployed

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are unemployed and were eligible for EI regular benefits before March 15th

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

If you lost your job and became eligible for EI regular benefits before March 15th, you will continue to receive EI under the existing rules.

You are unemployed and you may be eligible for EI regular benefits after March 15th

You may be eligible for the CERB.

If you lost your job and are eligible for EI regular benefits after March 15th, you will automatically be processed for the CERB.

Find out how to apply

You are unable to work because you were diagnosed with a serious illness. You were eligible for EI sickness benefits before March 15th

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

If you stopped working and are eligible for EI sickness benefits before March 15th, you will continue to receive EI under the existing rules.

You are unable to work because you were diagnosed with a serious illness. You were eligible for EI sickness benefits after March 15th.

You are unable to work because you were diagnosed with a serious illness. You were eligible for EI sickness benefits after March 15th

You may be eligible for the CERB.

If you stopped working and are eligible for EI sickness benefits after March 15th, you will automatically be processed for the CERB.

You may be eligible for EI sickness benefits if you are still sick after the CERB.

Find out how to apply

Student

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are a student who was working part-time throughout the school year, but your job is gone because of COVID-19.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You must have stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19 and meet the other requirements for the benefit.

Find out how to apply

You are a student who works in the summer. You were supposed to start at a job in May but the job is gone because of COVID-19.

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You must have stopped working because of COVID-19. Having a job lined up is not the same as having already started working and stopping. However, you may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.

You are an international student who was working part-time through the school year, but the job is gone because of COVID-19.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You must have stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19 and meet the other requirements for the benefit.

Find out how to apply

You are an international student who was studying in Canada and working part-time. You returned to your home country when the pandemic started because you lost your job and classes could be done virtually.

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You must be living in Canada to be eligible.

Senior/retired person

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are a senior with a pension who worked part time. You lost that job because of COVID-19.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You must have stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19 and meet the other requirements for the benefit.

Find out how to apply

You are a senior with a pension but no employment income.

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You must have stopped working for reasons related to COVID-19.

Self-employed/independent contractor

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are an individual who owns a business. You were forced to close your doors because of COVID-19.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible as of March 15th.

Find out how to apply

You are an independent contractor who has no work because of COVID-19. However, you get more than $1,000 (before taxes) after March 15th for work done in February

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible as long as the money you get is for work done outside the weeks in which you are applying for the CERB.

Find out how to apply

You are a self-employed person who got sick with COVID-related symptoms and you cannot work.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You may be eligible if you meet the eligibility criteria. This includes that you stopped working because of COVID-19.

Find out how to apply

You are a self-employed person who got sick but it is not COVID-related after March 15th and you cannot work

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You are not eligible as you are not sick because of COVID-19.

You are a self-employed person eligible for EI who got sick, but not necessarily with COVID-19, after March 15th

You may be eligible for the CERB.

If you stopped working after March 15th and are eligible for EI sickness benefits, these benefits will automatically be processed through the CERB.

Find out how to apply

Previously received EI benefits (exhausted)

You must meet all eligibility criteria to be eligible.

You are an individual with a seasonal job . You received EI regular benefits during the winter months and they are running out very soon (before October 3rd). You cannot find work because of COVID-19.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You would be eligible if you have used up your EI regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

Find out how to apply

You are an individual who received EI regular benefits. You exhausted them in late fall 2019. You cannot find work because of COVID-19.

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You must have used up your EI regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

You are an individual who received EI fishing benefits. You exhausted them in early 2020. You cannot find work because of COVID-19.

You may be eligible for the CERB.

You would be eligible if you used up all your fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

Find out how to apply

You are an individual who received EI fishing benefits. You exhausted them in late fall 2019. You cannot find work because of COVID-19.

No, you are not eligible for the CERB.

You must have used up your EI fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

How to apply

To deliver payments to Canadians in a fast and easy way, the CERB is being jointly delivered by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency.

To begin the application process, please answer a few simple questions. The answers you provide will help us direct you to the service option that best fits your situation.

Please read these questions and answers for more details.

Determine where to apply

Thinking about your main source of income in the last year - were you an employee or self-employed?

Thinking about your main source of income in the last year - were you an employee or self-employed?

  • I was self-employed

    Have you applied for EI fishing benefits that were exhausted between December 29, 2019 to October 3, 2020?

    • Yes
    • No
  • I was an employee

    Were you a full-time employee for at least four months last year? (“full-time” means someone who works 30 or more hours per week)

    • Yes
    • No

      Were you a part-time employee for at least eight months last year? (part-time means someone who works less than 30 hours per week)

      • Yes
      • No

Keep getting your payments

If you are receiving the CERB through Service Canada

To continue receiving the CERB, you have to submit your internet report every 2 weeks if your situation continues.

Internet Reporting Service
If you are receiving the CERB through the CRA

If your situation continues, you should apply for the CERB again for another 4-week period, up to a maximum of 7 periods (28 weeks total).

Re-apply through CRA

Sending your CERB payment back

You may want to return or be required to repay the CERB if you:

How to return or repay the CERB

Contact us about your application

You must contact the department you applied with.

If you are not sure who you applied with

You should contact CRA if:

  • the application you filled was very short
  • you applied through CRA My Account or applied with an automated phone service
  • you were encouraged to apply on a specific day of the week, depending on your month of birth
  • you were asked what period of eligibility you were applying for and then had to certify that you met the eligibility requirements

Note: It is possible you may have logged in to My Service Canada Account and then switched to CRA My Account

You should contact Service Canada if:

  • you applied online and did not need to enter a user ID or password. The application by telephone was not available
  • you were asked several questions, similar to an employment insurance (EI) application, including the type of EI benefits you were applying for and the name of your former employer
If you applied for the CERB with CRA
Ask about the status of your CERB payment

Contact the CRA at:
1-800-959-8281

Update your address or direct deposit information

Contact the CRA at:
1-800-959-8281

Questions about reapplying for the CERB

Contact the CRA at:
1-833-966-2099

If you applied using Employment Insurance (Service Canada)
Ask about the status of your CERB payment

Contact Service Canada at:
1-833-699-0299

Update your address or direct deposit information

Contact Service Canada at:
1-800-206-7218

Missing your access code for EI reports

If it's been 15 days since your application and you still are missing your access code, contact Service Canada at:
1-800-206-7218

Get help with EI reports

You will need to complete EI reports over the phone or file your EI reports online to keep receiving the CERB.

Get help with your EI reports:
1-800-206-7218

More about Employment Insurance (EI)

All other inquiries for applications on or after March 15th

Contact Service Canada at:
1-833-699-0299

All other inquiries for applications before March 15th

Contact Service Canada at:
1-800-206-7218

Get help applying

Questions about eligibility or how to apply (including applying for other periods)

Find answers to common questions:
1-833-966-2099

If you are unable to apply via My Account or by phone

Contact the CRA at:
1-800-959-8281

Questions about the CERB

Please read these questions and answers for more details.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

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