Canada Emergency Response Benefit – Updated

COVID-19 business services

COVID-19 business services


Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) applications open on Monday April 6th.  There are still lots of questions and concerns so we’ve updated our initial post with new information.

Who Qualifies for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Our self-employed / business owning clients are of course extremely stressed about how they will continue if they’ve shut up shop.  Further our clients with employees are stressed and concerned about how their employees will manage.   Here’s who will qualify

  • Anyone who has applied for EI:  in order to process applications faster all applicants will qualify for this benefit for the first 4 months at which point if still unemployed they will transition to the normal EI system  IMPORTANT UPDATE:  If you applied for EI after March 15 do not re-apply – your application will be transitioned to CERB automatically
  • Anyone who is sick, caring for someone who is sick or caring for Children
  • Anyone who is not making any money because business has shut down due to COVID-19 (this includes all of our health & wellness solo-preneurs and contractors (who have had to stop working), artists and musicians (with cancelled gigs) etc.
  • Anyone who has had hours reduced in due to lack of work due to COVID-19 (this one will be of great importance to our clients concerned about laying off staff.
  • IMPORTANT you can NOT earn ANY income in a 14 day period to qualify for CERB.  Many solo-preneurs and artists have expressed concern that this is punitive because they may only be earning a couple hundred dollars through teaching music lessons or flash selling expiring inventory.  Here is a link to a petition to bring this to the governments attention:

When Will the Money Arrive and When Can You Apply?

You can apply through your My CRA Account .  Residence of BC can expedite this process by using their BC Services Card.  The site is getting hit hard.  If you don’t have access yet get it set up ASAP.

Applications open April 6.  The period covered is March 15 – October.  The government is said you can expect funds within 3-5 days if you have direct deposit set (up 10 days if being paid by cheque) of making your application.  This means that people who apply on April 6 could in theory get their funds by April 9th.

Important Update

In order to prevent the system from overloading the application system is opened pending on your birthday month.

  • April 6 – January – March
  • April 7 – April – June
  • April 8 – July – September
  • April 9 – October – December
  • April 10 -12 Open to all

Regular employees should still get an ROE and apply for EI as you are laid off – do not wait for April 6.

What is the BC Government Doing?

The BC Government has announced a $1000 emergency fund for anyone qualifying for CERB.  They have also suspended rental evictions and a $500 rental rebate among other measures.  None of the measures are open for application as of yet.  This page will link you to a full list and we will update as they become available for application.

If you have any questions about filing ROE’s or accessing your My CRA Account please feel free to contact us

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