Government Assistance Programs for Employees & Individuals

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

This benefit provides support for up to 16 weeks for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This benefit replaces the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

The CERB provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 7 months to:

  • Those residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
  • Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment or self-employment income.
To help more Canadians benefit from the CERB, on April 15, 2020 the government announced changes to the eligibility rules which will: 
  • Allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB.
  • Extend the CERB 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.
  • Extend the CERB to workers who have recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19.

Click here for full eligibility details on the CERB.

Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application.

Those who have already applied for EI on or after March 15 do not need to re-apply for the CERB, you will automatically be switched over.

Click here for common CERB FAQs.

Employment Insurance (EI)

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, whether or not are eligible for Employment Insurance. The Benefit is available for the period from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020.

If you applied for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

There is now a single portal to assist you with the application process.

Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

The CESB provides financial support to post-secondary students and recent post-secondary and high school graduates who are unable to find employment due to COVID-19.

This benefit is for students who do not qualify for CERB or EI.

The CESB provides a taxable benefit of $1,250 per month OR $2,000 per month if you have dependents or disability from May 2020 to August 2020.

All applications must be received before September 30, 2020.

Click here for full eligibility details on CESB.

Increase to the Child Tax Benefit

The Government of Canada is providing up to 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 CCB do not need to re-apply.

Mortgage Support

Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. This includes permitting lenders to defer up to six monthly mortgage payments (interest and principal) for impacted borrowers. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. This gives flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most. You are encouraged to visit your bank’s website for the latest information, rather than calling or visiting a branch.

Contact your financial institution for further mortgage assistance.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.

Canada’s mortgage insurers are committed to providing homeowners with solutions to mitigate temporary financial hardship related to COVID-19. This includes permitting lenders to defer up to six monthly mortgage payments (interest and principal) for impacted borrowers. Deferred payments are added to the outstanding principal balance and subsequently repaid throughout the life of the mortgage.

Student and Apprentice Loans 

All student loan borrowers will automatically have their loan repayments and interest suspended until September 30, 2020.

Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

This moratorium applies to the federal portion of student loans. Borrowers should check with their provincial or territorial student loan provider to see if payment is required on the provincial or territorial portion.