You can apply for the Emergency Assistance Program through Ontario Works, which is for those who do not have financial resources to meet basic living expenses. Apply here.
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.