The CERB advantage is over – here’s what you need to know now


Now that the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has ended, people who are still unemployed are eligible for further federal financial supports to help them get through the next phase of the pandemic.Millions of CERB beneficiaries will automatically switch to Employment Insurance (EI). Expanded eligibility rules will also mean more people will be able to qualify and the Pandemic Assistance Bill before the House of Commons this week – C-4 – includes three new replacement benefits .

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said the changes seek to strike a balance between the need to avoid discouraging people from working and the need to support Canadians who, despite their best efforts, are still not working or drastically reduced their working hours.

To handle what is expected to be an unprecedented number of EI claims and a record number of calls in the coming weeks, Service Canada has nearly doubled the number of specialist call center agents. But it still warns people to expect long waits.

Here are some common questions about the post-CERB benefits.

How to make a complaint?

Most people who were receiving CERBs will automatically switch to EI, which will provide them with a taxable benefit of at least $ 500 per week, or $ 300 per week for extended parental benefits. EI claimants are eligible for at least 26 weeks.

Canadians who must apply for EI include:

  • People with 900 series social insurance numbers, such as temporary foreign workers and international students.
  • Self-employed workers who have received benefits from Service Canada.
  • Canadians who received CERBs through the Canada Revenue Agency, but who may have 120 insurable hours and may meet other eligibility criteria CRA officials have started to join in a proactive about 400,000 people in this category.

When will the EI payments be made?

Employment Insurance claimants are eligible at the end of the first two weeks they are out of work.

This means that people who switch to EI from CERB will be eligible for their first payment starting October 11. More than 80 percent of eligible Canadians who use direct deposit can expect to receive their first payment by October 14 – about three days after becoming eligible.

People can check the status of their claims online.

CERB has paid out approximately $ 80 billion in benefits to nearly nine million people.

Can I work while claiming EI?

The rules allow claimants to keep all of their work income while still receiving part of their EI benefits. Beneficiaries forfeit 50 cents of the benefit for every dollar earned above $ 38,000.

What if I am not eligible for EI?

The government created three new benefits for Canadians who do not qualify for Employment Insurance, a payment of $ 500 per week:

  • The Canada Restoration Benefit is for the self-employed or on-demand workers.
  • Canada’s Recovery Sickness Benefit is for workers who are ill or must self-isolate due to COVID-19.
  • The Canada Recovering Carer Allowance is for people who cannot work because they need to care for a child or dependent for reasons related to COVID-19.

The new benefits are included in Bill C-4, which is being debated in Parliament.

How do I continue to be eligible for EI?

Recipients are required to make “reasonable and continuous job search efforts” while receiving Employment Insurance benefits. These efforts may include making contact with employers, preparing a resume or cover letter, registering and researching job banks, and submitting job applications.


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