Applications Now Accepted For Emergency Benefits

Andrew Cummings
April 7, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says already, the benefit is getting to Canadians.

Payment is $2,000 a month for up to four months.

The CERB is available to Canadian workers over the age of 15 who are not expecting an income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period because of the pandemic.

"There are groups of people who aren't benefiting from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit who probably should".

The government has staggered the application process, meaning the 300,000 Canadians who have applied for the benefit so far represent a fraction of those who are slated to apply throughout the week. Trudeau also says help is on the way for people who don't immediately qualify for the CERB, including people who are working fewer hours than they normally would, or hours have been reduced to less than 10 a week, and for post-secondary students who will be out of money from the lack of summer jobs.

"We're looking carefully at how we can increase their pay a little bit so that they do better off remaining at work rather than going off work and receiving the emergency-response benefit", he said.

The benefit is aimed at helping Canadians who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked about reports regarding the USA stopping shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) during his daily press conference, Trudeau said that Canada continues to have "productive and positive" conversations with the US.

Tam said she was especially concerned with recent outbreaks in hospitals and long-term care homes, which have been reported in several provinces.

The announcement of extending the CERB's eligibility comes as the Conference Board of Canada forecasted on Monday that 2.8 million Canadians will lose their jobs in March and April - almost 15 per cent of total employment in the country. To date, 1.2 million EI applications have been processed through the CERB. That's despite these sectors representing 14 per cent of the national workforce previous year.

"For people in all of these situations, we see you and we're going to be there for you", said the prime minister. "The support programs... are apt for these types of job losses in the sense that they will cover a good portion of what these folks will lose in terms of their income".

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