CERB Transitions to EI

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CBJ — For the millions of Canadians that received the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) since it was rolled out in March, they will now be transitioned over to a revamped and more streamlined Employment Insurance (EI) program. CERB officially ended on September 26.

Canadians who have been receiving CERB through Service Canada will automatically be transitioned over. Those who received CERB from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website will have to transition to Service Canada. Canadians must self report every two weeks and confirm that they remain unemployed but are available to work in order to qualify for benefits. Payments will be at least $500 per week, which means $1,000 every two week reporting period, rather than the $2,000 over four weeks with CERB.

Canadians with 120 insurable hours of work in the last 52 weeks can apply and receive a taxable benefit at a rate of at least $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits, for up to 26 weeks. The maximum EI cap, as of now, is $573 per week, assuming an annual salary that exceeded $54,200 on last year’s T4.

If some people do not qualify for EI, and still cannot work due to the pandemic, they may be eligible for three new temporary benefits. it will essentially boil down to how many hours the individual worked over the past year.

The changes to the EI program and the three new recovery benefits will be available to Canadians for one year.

Besides the main EI program, the other three are:

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), which is for self-employed individuals but still require financial support because so much of the economy is still shut down. Valued at $500 for 26 weeks, the benefit is only provided to workers who haven’t returned to work due to COVID-19 or who have seen their income drop by at least 50%.

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) is a new initiative that provides $500 per week for up to two weeks for workers who are sick or who must self-isolate due to COVID-19.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) is for those who are unable to work because they need to care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools and daycares are closed. The benefit is up to $500 per week for 26 weeks.


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