More Canadians are returning to work, but many people still face challenges due to COVID-19. As we begin to take steps to safely restart our economy, the federal government will continue to support Canadians to protect their health and economic well-being.

The government is extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by eight weeks, to ensure Canadians have the help they need as they transition back to work. This extension will make the benefit available to eligible workers for up to a total of 24 weeks.

The Government of Canada introduced the CERB to immediately help workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so they could continue to put food on the table and pay their bills during this challenging time. Canadians receiving the benefit should be actively seeking work opportunities or planning to return to work, provided they are able and it is reasonable to do so.

The government will also make changes to the CERB attestation, which will encourage Canadians receiving the benefit to find employment and consult Job Bank, Canada’s national employment service that offers tools to help with job searches.

Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Employment Insurance (EI), are available to help Canadians get back on their feet.

“We know that many Canadians across the country are still facing a really tough time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will continue to take action to better support them. By extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, Canadians will be able to continue to buy groceries and pay their bills as we work together to safely and effectively restart the economy,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The CERB is a taxable benefit of $2,000 over a four-week period for eligible workers who have stopped working or whose work hours have been reduced, due to COVID-19.

The CERB is available to workers who:
· live in Canada and are at least 15 years old
· have stopped working because of reasons related to COVID-19, or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits, or have exhausted their EI regular or fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020
· had employment and/or self-employment income of at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application
· have not earned more than $1,000 in employment and/or self-employment income per benefit period while collecting the CERB
· have not quit their job voluntarily

While parts of our economy safely begin to restart, many Canadians are still experiencing the effects of COVID-19. Both the CERB and the CEWS were introduced as part of our plan to rapidly support Canadians through this crisis.

Photo: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces the CERB extension. Photo courtesy of Adam Scotti.

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