How to Claim the COVID-19 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

The economic impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for Canadians across the country, especially for those who are self employed or work in an industry not deemed an essential service.

According to Statistics Canada, over 3.1 million Canadians were affected by jobs loss or reduced working hours since March 15th. The unemployment rate is estimated to be hovering around 7.5% and is expected to increase in the coming months, with some provinces forecasting up to 25% unemployment. This level of employment loss has not been experienced in Canada since the financial downturn in 1983, or even the Great Depression (1930’s) if unemployment increases to forecasted rates.

To reduce the financial burden caused by COVID-19, the Government of Canada has implemented an emergency benefit (CERB) that can be accessed by eligible applicants. The benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work due to reasons related to COVID-19. The CERB provides a temporary direct income support, which will be transferred to the applicants bank account within a few business days. The CERB provides a lump sum of $2000 for a four week benefit period, where the applicant will need to re-apply at the end of each benefit period. Currently, the program is only running for 16 weeks, meaning there will be 4 benefit periods. It is important to note that the benefit is considered taxable income.

The CERB is available even if you are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). All EI applications after March 15th are automatically being processed under the CERB, while those who are already receiving EI payments that are less than the CERB will receive a top up.

To mitigate website traffic slowing doing the application process, the Canada Revenue Agency has indicated that applicants can only apply on certain days of the week, depending on their birth month.

Mondays: January, February March
Tuesdays: April, May, June
Wednesday: July, August, September
Thursdays: October, November, December
Friday – Sunday: Everyone can apply

The CERB is one of various financial assistance programs that will be available to residents. The Government of Canada has proposed to increase the Goods and Service Tax Credit (GSTC), as well as the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) in their COVID-19 economic response strategy. The combined credit is expected to provide Canadians with an extra $1500 in short term support.

The disability lawyers at Kotak Law are here to help in these difficult times. You may have a valid short term disability claim from your increased anxiety and stress.

We continue to serve new and existing clients during the COVID-19 outbreak and meet by way of telephone, email or videoconference.

Links to application:

Eligibility Requirements:


Can also be applied through your CRA account



We understand that being denied short-term disability benefits or long-term disability benefits can be frustrating and devastating. Your time to fight your disability insurance company is limited. Please do not delay in calling a disability claim lawyer at Kotak Law. We have successfully sued numerous disability insurance companies including Manulife, Sunlife, Desjardins, Great West Life, Canada Life, London Life, Blue Cross, AIG, SSQ, RBC, Industrial Alliance and more.

Call your trusted long term disability lawyers at 1-888-GOKOTAK (Toll Free for all of Canada), or (416) 816-1500 (Local Number for Ontario Residents), (403) 319-0071, (587) 414-1010 (Local Numbers for Alberta Residents). Our consultation is free and we don’t get paid until you do. We can meet you at our offices, a coffee shop, your home or a local court house. We can meet electronically though Skype, Zoom or WebEX. We represent disabled people throughout Ontario and Alberta, including Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, Orangeville, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, St.Catharines, Niagara Falls, Stoney Creek, Kitchener/Waterloo, Cambridge, London, Windsor, Markham, Pickering, Oshawa, Peterborough, Keswick, Kingston, Ottawa, Banff, Brooks, Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Jasper, Lake Louise, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Saint Albert and other locations.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to supply general information to the public. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, as laws change quickly, the reader should always ensure the accuracy and applicability of such information with respect to their particular case. The information contained in this article cannot replace a thorough and complete review of the reader’s situation by competent legal counsel who has had an opportunity to review all of the facts.