The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Since the lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, many questions about finances and how to keep up with mortgage payments have come up and many Canadians have been extremely worried about their financial situation. In response to these worries and situation, the government of Canada has implemented a number of financial measures to help all citizens in need. One of these measures is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, also known as CERB.

What is the CERB?
This measure is an aid package of $2,000 for Canadians whose income has been affected by Covid-19 and it is a one-time payment which is intended to cover the individual for a period of 4 weeks. If you require more help, you must reapply for this aid package each time you require it, up to 4 times, totalling 16 weeks of coverage.

Can I apply for CERB?
Not everyone is eligible for this package. In order to qualify for your first CERB payment, you must meet the following criteria:
– Live in Canada
– Be over the age of 15
– Can’t be working due to Covid-19 for at least 14 days in a row – and not have access to employment insurance, paid leave or other income support, while sick or quarantined; or cannot work because you’re taking care of a family member with Covid-19; unable to go to work because your children require care and cannot be sent to school or daycare; self-employed but unable to work due to lack of work available.

The above criteria must be met for the first payment. If you need to reapply, you need to continue meeting the above criteria, plus answer “yes” to the following questions:
– Have you earned a minimum income of at least 5,000 within the last 12 months or in 2019, through employment income, self-employment income, and/or maternity/paternity leave?
– Are you still unable to continue work due to Covid-19 and are unable to get employment insurance, paid leave or other income support?
– You have not quit your job voluntarily.

Can you qualify for a loan using CERB?
Depending on the lender, you may be able to use your new CERB benefit to qualify for a loan. However, you must understand the impact it will have on your finances. If you really require this benefit, adding an extra payment to your list of obligations may not be ideal.