CERB Updates and Frequently Asked Questions

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The Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides temporary income support to workers who have stopped working due to COVID-19.  There has been a few changes made last week in the CERB eligibility criteria.  Here is the updated criteria:

  • Workers must reside in Canada and are at least 15 years old;
  • Workers who have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19 or are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020;
  • Workers who had employment  income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and,
  • Workers who have not quit their job voluntarily.

When submitting your first claim, you 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, you cannot have earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income for the entire four-week benefit period of your new claim.

Reminder: Please apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) – NOT BOTH.


Frequently asked questions:


Are International Students eligible for the CERB?

Yes, international students are eligible as long as they meet the eligibility requirements, which includes residing in Canada and having a valid Social Insurance Number.

Should I be applying for EI or CERB?

You should be applying for the CERB if you meet the eligibility requirements.  Anyone applying for EI regular benefits on March 15th, 2020 or later will have their application processed through the CERB.

How long can I stay on the CERB?

You can receive the CERB for a maximum of 16 weeks (4 periods) if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.  The Benefit is available from March 15, 2020, to October 3, 2020. You can apply no later than December 2, 2020 for payments retroactive to within that period.  However, you may not earn more than $1000 per month in total for each subsequent claim.

Can I still work and collect money from the CERB?

Yes, you are allowed to earn up to $1,000 during a 4-week eligibility period and remain on the CERB.

Is the CERB taxable?

Yes, the CERB is taxable.  You will be expected to report it as income when you file your income tax for the 2020 tax year.

I’m still employed but my work hours have been reduced due to COVID-19.  Am I eligible for the CERB?

Workers who remain employed can receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if they meet the eligibility requirements.  

I have applied for the CERB but still have not received the money.  How long should it take?

You should get your payment in 3 business days if you signed up for direct deposit. If you haven’t, you should get it in about 10 business days through a cheque.

I may have made a mistake in applying for the CERB.  How do I return or repay the CERB?

If you still have the original CERB cheque, you can return the cheque by mail to the address:

Revenue Processing – Repayment of CERB
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON P3A 0C1

If you don’t have the cheque or were paid by direct deposit.  You can mail your repayment to the CRA. Be sure to: make payment out to “Receiver General for Canada”, indicate it is for “Repayment of CERB” and include your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or your Temporary Tax Number (TTN).  Mail your payment to:

Revenue Processing – Repayment of CERB
Sudbury Tax Centre
1050 Notre Dame Avenue
Sudbury ON P3A 0C1

Is there anyone I can call if I have more questions?

Please call 1-833-966-2099 for more general information or if you would like to speak with a CRA agent.