The federal government will provide a $2,000-per-month taxable benefit for up to four months for Canadians who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit, an amalgamation of two previously announced benefits, will be available to workers who’ve lost their jobs, are sick or quarantined and are taking care of someone ill with the coronavirus, as well as to parents caring for their children due to school and daycare closures.

The benefit applies to wage earners, as well as to contract workers and self-employed people who wouldn’t be eligible for employment insurance.

Read: Feds introduce $82 billion in coronavirus emergency support for workers, businesses

Workers who are still employed but aren’t receiving income because of work disruptions would also qualify for the CERB. “This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible,” the government said in a press release.

The portal for accessing the CERB will become available in early April, and those who apply should receive funds within 10 days. The benefit will be paid every four weeks and will be available from March 15, 2020 until Oct. 3, 2020.

“We know that people are worried about their health, their jobs and their financial situations,” said Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, in the release. “Our government is doing whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and to support workers, families and businesses.”

Read: Employer responsibilities around benefits, pension provision during coronavirus

The coronavirus has already taken a strong toll on Canada’s economy. On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 500,000 Canadians had applied for EI benefits in the past week — in comparison to just 27,000 applications for the same week in 2019. “The EI system was not designed to process the unprecedented high volume of applications received in the past week,” the release said.

To help ease that burden, all Canadians, regardless of their EI eligibility, can file for the CERB. Workers who are already receiving regular EI benefits or EI sickness benefits as of today will continue to receive those and shouldn’t apply for the new benefit. However, if their benefits are scheduled to end before Oct. 3, 2020 and they still can’t return to work, they can apply for the CERB.

Workers who’ve applied for EI benefits and haven’t had their application processed yet won’t need to re-apply, the government said.

Find out more about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit here.

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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Robert Donley:

What about retired people? Those of us with defined contribution plans, as well as those living on RRSPs, have had our retirement portfolios decimated. The decision-makers with the federal government continue to overlook this because they have a gold-plated pension plan that will survive the economic storm. Where’s our financial aid?

Thursday, March 26 at 8:03 am | Reply

Sotha Lim:

THANKS

Thursday, March 26 at 5:07 pm | Reply

john:

I wonder if apply for the $2,000/month benefit. I am a private tutor, a freelancer — all coffee shops, libraries, etc. are closed and that’s where I meet my students. At any rate, they’ve lost their job or laid off so they themselves would not have been able to keep up their lessons with me, so both sides have been affected. I suppose I should apply to see if I qualify . . . Thanks. I suppose it will be a nightmare getting onto the site if millions are doing the same thing. What a situation for all!

Friday, March 27 at 8:38 pm | Reply

Dobbra:

Hello John,
Maybe you can tell me where can I apply for the $2,000/month benefit. I tried to find, but it is so hard. I am an individual and unemployed, but where is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit where I click. Thank you in advance for your help.

Tuesday, March 31 at 10:40 am

Danny:

I’m glad those who are unemployed through all this are getting the money they need, but what about those who are on the frontlines? Should we get a pay for all the stress and extra work we are going through?

Sunday, March 29 at 2:47 am | Reply

Kathryn:

I am currently employed as an essential worker. However, my spouse’s doctor has said that I should not be working as my spouse has a highly comprised immune system and it could be very serious if I bring the virus home. My spouse is working from home. I have two small children at home due to daycare/school closure, but my spouse cannot provide care for them. Would I qualify for the benefit to care for my children? If I do, is my employer required by law to release me from my work?

Monday, March 30 at 12:02 pm

Mary Auld:

Danny,
These benefits are for people who have lost their jobs. Your job is beyond precious and we value you a lot but am sure you will get OT pay for the extra time you are putting in. Thank you for your service.

Tuesday, March 31 at 5:27 pm

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