Our blog post from two days ago described the expected federal initiatives to assist working Canadians, including the self-employed, who do not qualify for EI but are now unemployed or off work because of COVID-19. Yesterday afternoon, the federal government passed the anticipated federal aid package with beneficial upgrades and amendments.
The value of the aid package was increased to $107 billion, up from the previously-announced $82 billion. As well, the anticipated "Emergency Care Benefit" and "Emergency Support Benefit" discussed in our last blog post have been combined into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
CERB will provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is being described as a “simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit”.
CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB will apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
CERB is expected to be available to Canadians in April 2020 and to be paid 10 days after applying.
Click here for the Canadian government site with details about CERB.