The federal government has announced the COVID-19 emergency benefits program, and Canadians can expect payments within weeks.
The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:
- workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support
- workers who are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is affected with COVID-19
- working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures
- workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work
- wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accessible through a secure web portal starting in early April, and the payments will be processed about 10 days later.