The federal government’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) application portal for assistance amid COVID-19 has now launched.
This benefit is for Canadians who have stopped working or will stop working due to reasons related to COVID-19. The benefit provides a payment of $2,000 for a four-week period (the same as $500 a week) for up to four months.
The government notes that “if your situation continues, you can re-apply for CERB for multiple four-week periods, to a maximum of 16 weeks (four periods).”
You can apply for the benefit online or by phone. If you choose to apply online, you will need a ‘CRA My Account.’ If you forgot your password or are locked out of your account, the government has detailed steps that you can take to regain access to your account.
If you don’t have an account and do not want to create one, you have the option to call the automated toll-free application line at 1-800-959-2019.
It’s important to note that whether you apply online or by phone, there are select days that you are allowed to apply, based on your birth month.
For instance, if your birthday is in January, February or March, you can only apply on Mondays. If your birthday is in April, May or June, you can apply on Tuesdays. If your birthday is in July, August or September, you can apply on Wednesdays. If your birthday is in October, November or December, you can apply on Thursdays.
However, anyone is allowed to apply on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, regardless of their birth month.
Further, both of the services are available 21 hours a day, seven days a week, and are closed from 3am to 6am ET for maintenance.
The government notes that after Canadians apply, they should get their payment in three business days if they signed up for direct deposit. If not, they should receive the payment in about 10 business days.
Full details about the application and eligibility can be found on the government’s website.
Image credit: Unsplash (Jason Hafso)
Update: The first round of numbers is in and the government states that there has been 642,000 applications for CERB today.