*** As of April 14, 2020 CERB is expanded and to include seasonal workers, workers making less than $1000/month, and workers on EI who exhausted their benefits. See section “How do I qualify for CERB?”

**Starting April 6, there is one single portal for applying for the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) instead of EI. If you have already applied for EI, click here for a FAQ. Click here to apply. Please follow the below recommended dates when applying:

Day to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit
If you were born in the month of Apply for CERB on Your best day to apply
January, February or March Mondays April 6
April, May, or June Tuesdays April 7
July, August, or September Wednesdays April 8
October, November, or December Thursdays April 9
Any month Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays


Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Applicants are entitled up to $2,000 monthly for 16 weeks. The benefit designed to replace IE Sickness Benefits and EI Regular Benefits.  Anyone who applied for EI after March 15, 2020 will automatically be switched over to CERB.

How do I qualify for CERB?

In order to qualify for CERB, the following must apply:

  • You are over 15 years old
  • You have earned at least $5,000 in 2019
  • New: If you are applying for the first time, you do not expect to receive more than $1000 (before taxes) for at least 14 consecutive days in a four-week period because of COBID-19, temporary work stoppage, lay-offs, are sick or in quarantine, or need to care for a child or family member.
  • New: If you are re-applying for another period, you do not expect your situation to change during this period, and you don not expect to receive more than $1000 (before taxes) from employment and self-employment income.
  • New: If you received regular EI benefits for at least 1 week since December 29, 2019, you can now apply for CERB.

What if I’m already on EI?

Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply for the Emergency Response Benefit. If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19.

Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply.

Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if they are still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.

NOTE: You cannot receive both the Emergency Response Benefit and Employment Insurance at the same time.

For more information on how to apply (not formally launching until April 6): click here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html 


Click here to read an overview of how you can begin receiving employment insurance (EI).

You may be eligible for Employment Insurance either 1) EI Sickness Benefits, or 2) EI Regular Benefits.

If you are affected by COVID-19 and quarantined

Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement and is available to eligible claimants who are unable to work because of illness, injury or quarantine, to allow them time to restore their health and return to work. Canadians quarantined can apply for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits.

During the COVID-19 emergency, the government has waived both the one-week waiting period for claiming EI for people in quarantine and the requirement to provide a medical certificate.

For more information and to apply go to: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-sickness.html

If you are laid off

Always apply for EI benefits as soon as you stop working. You can apply for benefits even if you have not yet received your Record of Employment (ROE). If you delay filing your claim for benefits for more than four weeks after your last day of work, you may lose benefits.

For more information and to apply online, go to: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/apply.html

You will need:

  • Your social insurance number (SIN). If your SIN begins with a 9, you need to supply proof of your immigration status and work permit.
  • your mother’s maiden name.
  • your mailing and residential addresses (if different), including the postal codes.
  • your complete banking information to sign up for direct deposit, including the financial institution name, bank branch number, and account number
  • names, addresses, dates of employment, and reason for separation for all your employers over the last 52 weeks
  • your detailed version of the facts (if you quit or have been dismissed from any job in the last 52 weeks)
  • the dates, Sunday to Saturday, and earnings for each of your highest paid weeks of insurable earnings in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is the shorter period. This information will be used, along with your ROEs to calculate your benefit rate.