Canadians can now apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit

CANADIANS can now apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) at

The federal government said on Monday that it is working day and night to ensure Canadians have access to the CERB in the simplest and fastest way possible. Canadians who have lost their income due to COVID-19 can expect their payment in three to five business days from when they apply if they are using direct deposit. That means most Canadians who are eligible will receive $2,000 before the end of next week.

Canadians looking to get more information about the CERB or, who are unable to apply online, can call the toll-free telephone line at 1-833-966-2099.

To help manage the volume of applications through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Service Canada, applicants will be asked to apply over four days depending on their month of birth. In addition, Shared Services Canada has also increased the bandwidth capacity of the network infrastructure supporting the CRA, including the My Account secure online portal.

Canadians who have already applied for EI do not need to reapply. To date, over 1.2 million of the EI applications received since March 15 have been processed through the new CERB.

The government said it remains fully committed to supporting all Canadians during this global pandemic. The government will continue to carefully consider any additional steps it can take to do just that.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said: “The Government of Canada is fully committed to ensuring Canadian families have the support they need through these difficult times. Our priority is to ensure that Canadians receive the money they need as quickly as possible.”

Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, said: “The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian workers and their families facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today marks the launch of an unprecedented measure to help Canadian workers through an extraordinary time. This new benefit will help Canadian workers pay their bills and keep a roof over their head.”

Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue , said: “Our top priority is to get funds into the hands of Canadians quickly and efficiently. Thousands of CRA employees across the country have been reassigned to bolster our call centre capacity, and our systems have been tested in anticipation of the expected record volumes starting April 6. CERB recipients will see the money in their registered direct deposit bank account within 3 to 5 business days or through the mail within 10 business days. Canadians can count on the CRA to deliver these critical benefit payments during this unprecedented and challenging time.”
Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government, said: “Canadians are unable to work due to COVID-19 pandemic are counting on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help them pay their bills and provide for their families. Shared Services Canada is working to provide the necessary IT support to the Canada Revenue Agency and Employment and Social Development Canada so that they can deliver this benefit quickly, easily and securely.”

Quick Facts

  • The CERB is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. Eligible workers can apply no later than December 2, 2020.
  • Direct deposit payments will be delivered into accounts within 3 business days of applicants being eligible to receive it, and cheques within 10 days. To ensure timely delivery of their payments and avoid any potential payment disruptions, Canadians should sign up for direct deposit.
  • The CERB will support Canadians who have stopped working because of COVID-19 by providing $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. Some examples of support to workers provided by the CERB include:
    • workers, including those who are self-employed, who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support;
    • workers who have lost their employment, as well as workers who are sick, quarantined or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
    • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures; and
    • workers who are still employed, but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.