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Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for Temporary Foreign Workers and International Students

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April 8, 2020

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By Amrita Nepal

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Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit program has put many with questions whether they’ve qualified for the benefit due to the COVID-19 impact. CERB is a temporary income support for up to $500 a week for up to 16 weeks, available to the residents in Canada, who have stopped working or are without employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period, with reasons related to COVID-19.

 

It is a taxable payment from the government, where $2000 per month, amounting to $500 per week is made maximum for 16 weeks or four months. You can receive the benefits as early as three business days if you have signed up for a direct deposit, else you are likely to receive within 10 business days. 

 

Am I eligible to receive CERB?

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Eligibility

 

You must meet the requirements listed below to be eligible:

• You reside in Canada;

• You are 15 years old or more when you apply, and you have not quit your job voluntarily;

• You have not applied for, or received, CERB or EI benefits from Service Canada for the same eligibility period;

• If you are or expected to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. 

• You have earned a minimum of $5,000 income in 2019 or in the last 12 months prior to your application from one or more of the following sources:

o employment income

o self-employment income

o provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave

• You may still be eligible to get the benefit if you are not a citizen or a permanent resident (for example international students and temporary foreign workers), provided that you meet other eligibility requirements;

• If your situation continues, you can re-apply for CERB for multiple 4-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods). However, it is expected that you have no employment or self-employment income.

 

How can I apply?

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Application

 

To make sure that the Canadians have access to the fund easily, CERB is being delivered jointly by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency. 

• You can either apply Online with CRA My Account or

• Over the phone with an automated phone service

o To verify your identity, you'll need

 your social insurance number (SIN)

 postal code

o If you are calling the CRA on behalf of someone else, you must be an authorized representative

o Telephone number: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

 

In order to begin, answer the following questions to determine an option that suits your situation!

Question and Answers

Thinking about your main source of income in the last year - were you an employee or self-employed?

I was self-employed

• You should prepare to apply through the CRA.

 

I was an employee:

Were you a full-time employee for at least four months last year? (“full-time” means someone who works 30 or more hours per week)

Yes

• You should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit through Service Canada and the Employment Insurance program.

No

Were you a part-time employee for at least eight months last year? (part-time means someone who works less than 30 hours per week)

Yes

• You should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit through Service Canada and the Employment Insurance program.

No

• You should prepare to apply through the CRA.

 

When to apply?

 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Application Days

 

The following guidelines have been provided to apply for CERB:

 

If you were born in the month of

 

January, February or March – apply on – Mondays - April 6

April, May, or June – apply on Tuesdays - April 7

July, August, or SeptemberWednesdays - April 8

October, November, or DecemberThursdays - April 9

Any months - Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

 

Apply Here: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

 

The CERB is taxable, however, taxes will not be deducted from the CERB at source and it is expected that the recipients will be reporting CERB as an income when filing their income tax returns for the tax year 2020.

 

Other Financial Supports:

Since we all are battling one of the toughest times, here are some programs you can sign up: 

1) Family Support: 

Parents are eligible to receive one-time payment per child $200 for children between 0-12 age and $250 for children or youth aged 0 to 21 with special needs. You can submit one application per child.

 

Apply Here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-families

 

2) Increase in Canada Child Benefit 

The Government has proposed to provide additional support for 2019-20 benefit year by $300 per child, as a part of the payment in May. If you’ve received CCB, you don’t have to re-apply.

 

Apply Here: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/child-family-benefits/canada-child-benefit-overview/canada-child-benefit-apply.html

 

Do you have any immigration-related concerns or a situation due to COVID-19? Please feel free to use the Assessment Link below! We are here to help you with your queries and applications and provide you with answers to help you in these tough times.

 

Start Your Assessment

 

Sources: Canada.ca; Ontario.ca


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