Support for Individuals

Summary of the Government of Canada's Economic Relief Measures for Individuals Impacted by COVID-19.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Who Qualifies?

  • Workers who are employed but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19. Must be without income for 14 days prior to applying. 

  • Includes individuals without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in a four-week period for reasons related to COVID-19, including if they lost their job, are sick or in quarantine, or need to care for a child or a family member.

  • Temporary foreign workers who do not qualify for EI, but who meet any of the above criteria, are also eligible for this benefit.

EI Work-Sharing (WS) program

EI Work-Sharing (WS) program, which helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer, has new temporary measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

    • WS agreements extended for maximum possible duration from 38 weeks to 76 weeks, waived mandatory cooling-off period and more flexible employer eligibility.

    • For employees to be eligible for the WS program they must be eligible to receive EI benefits, considered core staff, and agree to reduce working hours and share available work.

Employment Insurance

If you have lost your job through no fault of your own and qualify for Employment Insurance benefits, you can submit your request today.

Measures to expedite the EI process:

  • The one week waiting period has been waived for claimants who are quarantined so they can be paid for the first week of their claim. There is a newly established toll-free telephone number to assist those who would like to waive the one week waiting period: 1-833-381-2725.

  • People claiming EI due to quarantine will not have to provide a medical certificate.

  • People who cannot complete their claim for EI sickness benefits due to quarantine may apply later and have their EI claim backdated to cover the period of delay.

Information for those that have already applied for EI benefits:

  • If a claimant has already applied for EI they do not need to reapply for the CERB. The claim will be automatically moved over to the CERB, and benefits paid from this program first. If still unemployed after October 3, 2020,  claimants can use their hours to apply for EI benefits after this date.

  • Additionally, those who are already receiving EI benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. If the EI benefits end before October 3rd, 2020, and the claimant is still unable to return to work, they can apply to the CERB once the EI benefits run out.

  • EI eligible employees who have recently lost their job can continue to apply for EI here.

  • Employers should also note to continue to file EI Records of Employment (ROEs) for employees correctly for the reported circumstances (e.g. quarantine/sickness, shortage of work).

Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment

The Government of Canada is providing a one-time special payment by early May through the Goods and Services Tax credit for low- and modest-income families.

The average additional benefit will be close to $400 for single individuals and close to $600 for couples.

There is no need to apply for this payment. If you are eligible, you will get it automatically.

Increasing the Canada Child Benefit

The Government of Canada is providing an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. This will mean approximately $550 more for the average family.

This benefit will be delivered as part of the scheduled CCB payment in May.


Those who already receive the Canada Child Benefit do not need to re-apply.

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