Employment Insurance – COVID-19
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
How to apply for the CERB
Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) deliver this benefit jointly. You can apply through one or the other, but not both. To help you determine if you should apply through Service Canada or the CRA, visit the Canada Emergency Response Benefit webpage. Apply as soon as possible after you stop working. Don’t wait for your record of employment.
If you have recently applied for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits, do not re-apply. Your application will automatically be assessed to determine if you are eligible for the CERB.
A medical certificate is not required for EI claims beginning March 15, 2020 or later.
If you've applied for the CERB through Service Canada
You will receive a $2000 payment within a few days of applying. You will be paid based on the reports you submit. You can report every 2 weeks and get paid $1000 biweekly or you can choose to only report every 4 weeks and get paid $2000 once a month.
Complete your reports to continue getting paid
While you are receiving the CERB, you must complete reports to show that you are eligible and to continue getting paid. Here's what you need to do:
- you will receive a 4-digit Access Code by email or mail
- use the Access Code to complete your report using the Internet Reporting Service or call 1-800-531-7555
- continue completing reports when they're due to continue getting paid
To provide benefits as quickly as possible, Service Canada may issue your Access Code to the email address you provided when you applied for EI benefits or the CERB. You will also receive this same Access Code by letter in the mail.
Check when your next report is due and review your payment information
To make it easier to check when your next report is due, register for My Service Canada Account (MSCA). Once you're registered:
- log in
- select "Employment Insurance (EI)"
- click "Latest claim" or "Payment information"
MSCA also allows you to sign up for direct deposit so you can get paid without any postal delay.
If you've signed up for direct deposit in the past, review your information and update it if necessary. Keeping your direct deposit information up to date helps us ensure you will get paid as quickly as possible.
If you have already applied for the CERB through Service Canada and have a question, you can reach a CERB agent at 1-833-699-0299.
If you haven't already applied for EI or the CERB, call our automated telephone service at 1-833-966-2099for more information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply.
Contact the EI call centre at 1-800-206-7218 for information on:
- maternity, parental, caregiving or fishing benefits
- any claim established prior to March 15, 2020
- your completed reports, if you need to speak to an agent
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