Daily COVID-19 Update - April 6, 2020


These are the essential updates related to COVID-19 for April 6, 2020.

Qualifying for CERB with some income

Currently the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which opened up for applications today, only applies to individuals who have lost all of their income as a result of COVID-19. This would apply to most RMTs, however, there are others who still have a small amount of income from other sources. The Prime Minister stated that he will soon announce how people who are working 10 hours or less will be able to qualify to access the CERB. He also stated that soon people whose income has decreased significantly but not entirely will be able to access the CERB. Further details about these new qualifications are expected to be released in the coming days.

Applications for the CERB are now open

Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit are now open.

To ensure the portal can handle the expected high volume of applications and the system is not overloaded, the government has staggered application periods over the work week based on an applicant's month of birth.

Apply on:

April 6 (today) : If you were born in January, February or March
April 7: If you were born in April, May or June
April 8: If you were born in July, August or September
April 9: If you were born in October, November or December.

To qualify for CERB you must:

  • Reside in Canada and be at least 15 years old.
  • Have stopped working because of COVID-19.
  • Have had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of the application.
  • Have been or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, you expect to have no employment income.

Applicants who set up direct deposit are expected to receive a first payment within three to five days. Those who use mail should receive a first payment within 10 days. Payment is $2,000 a month for up to four months.

There are two ways for Canadians to apply: online with CRA My Account or over the phone with an automated phone service. If applying online or by phone, Canadians will receive a payment by direct deposit or by cheque.

If applying online, Canadians will have to sign into CRA My Account. They should go to COVID-19: Canada Emergency Response Benefit in the alert banner at the top of the web page, select the period they want to apply for, declare that they qualify for the benefit and confirm the government has the right payment information.

If applying over the phone, Canadians can call the automated toll-free line at 1-800-959-2019. This is a dedicated line for CERB applications. Before people call, they should have their social insurance number and postal code handy to verify their identity.

Both of these services will be available 21 hours a day, seven days a week. Both services are closed from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. ET for maintenance.

You can read more information on the Government of Canada website.

Support for Families Initiative

The new Support for Families initiative announced today will offer a one-time payment of $200 per child, 0 to 12 years of age and $250 for those 0 to 21 years of age with special needs.

This is to support parents as their children are out of school or childcare due to COVID-19.

You can learn more about the program and how to apply on the Government of Ontario website.

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