Beginning in April you will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Who is covered?
- Those who have lost their job(s).
- Those who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
- Parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of closures.
- Wage-earners, contract workers, and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
- Workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income.
- You must also have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the past 12 months (maternity, parental, or adoptions benefits count) and you must have 14 days in a row of no income in each 4-week period of the CERB.
Step 1: Get ready to apply
If you can apply online (computer or mobile phone) go to and make sure you have a
MyAccount with the Canada Revenue Agency.
If you can’t apply online, there will be a dedicated 1-800 number you can call. Keep listening to the news or, in early April, call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).
As of March 27, Service Canada offices are closed. We are waiting to hear how the government will help people without a computer and internet.
Important to know:
- Due to an anticipated high volume of requests, the government is requesting you enroll in the CERB based on your birthday:
April 6th: January, February and March birthdays
April 7th: April, May and June birthdays
April 8th: July, August and September birthdays
April 9th: October, November and December birthdays
The date you apply will not impact when you receive CERB funds.
- There is no need to re-apply for CERB if you applied for EI after March 15th. You will be automatically enrolled on April 6th.
- You DO NOT need a doctor’s note for COVID-19.
- By law, you are eligible if you had at least $5,000 in income from work (employment or self-employment), EI maternity or parental benefits or Quebec’s parental benefits program QPIP in the last year; AND you have had no income from employment, self-employment, any EI benefit or QPIP for at least 14 days in a row.
- You can prove your identity to the government faster online if you use online banking through your bank or credit union.