Canada Emergency Response Benefit - (CERB)

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CErB)

Created May 15, 2020


The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides temporary income support available for Nisga’a citizens who have stopped working as a result of COVID-19.  It provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. 

Key Points

  • The CERB is available to workers:
  • Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19, or are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) regular or sickness benefits, or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Who had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
  • Who have not quit their job voluntarily.
    • Applying for the CERB:
    • The CERB may impact individuals receiving other social assistance benefits.  Individuals receiving provincial or territorial or Village Government Social Assistance (including Income or Disability), should consult your local Social Assistance Office or Social Development Administrator before applying for the CERB. 
    • If a Nisga’a citizen applied for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, their claim will be automatically processed through the CERB.
    • Only apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)not both.
    • There is no automatic renewal of CERB payments. Individuals must confirm their eligibility for each four-week benefit period for which they apply either online or by phone (1-833-966-2099).
    • When submitting the first claim, an individual cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period of your claim.
    • When submitting subsequent claims, an individual cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of the new claim.
      • CERB Considerations
      • The CERB is taxable income to the recipient and tax is not withheld at source on CERB payments.  This may result in tax owing for 2020.
      • If CERB payments are received and it is later determined that the individual is not eligible or received payments in error, the individual must repay the CERB amounts received.
        • FAQs on the CERB are available:
          • The Prime Minister clarified on April 15, 2020 that the CERB would extend to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their regular seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.
          • The CERB is now available if you earned $1,000 or less during an eligibility period. This means individuals in this situation may be eligible to apply for a previous period, starting March 15, 2020 and moving forward.

Updates to the CERB

These changes will be retroactive to March 15, 2020. More details are available on the CRA CERB portal.

Full Release:


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