[Updated: October 20, 2020]
COVID left many left jobless. To provide aid, The Federal government of Canada had implemented the first phase of their employment insurance, The Canadian Emergency response benefit, commonly known as CERB. The benefit helped over 8 million Canadians through tumultuous times. CERB provided every applicable citizen with $2000 for 28 weeks.
Although the long-term effects of the policy remain to be debated, our current job market is still fragile for most workers During these times, a staggering amount of people have turned to gig work platforms and freelancing. Many of the popular gig platforms include Uber & UberEats, Lyft, DoorDash, SkipTheDishes, Instacart, and more. A variety of people have found freedom and autonomy through being their own boss. Alongside newfound contentment, some have also had to face the harsh reality of unpredictable life getting in the way.
To help the gig workers and freelancers sustain their independence, the government provided access to CERB for this important group of people if their income fell to or below $1,000/week.
If you need more financial peace of mind at this time, apply now.
Now that the 28-week period for CERB is over, what’s next?
As of September 27, 2020, the government is providing financial assistance through employment insurance that will be in effect for 1 year, until September 25, 2021
The Canadian government has put together three new recovery benefits:
This benefit is for people who are not eligible for EI, and/or their income – employed and self-employed – reduced by at least 50%. It provides $500 per week for 26 weeks paid in 2-week periods.
This benefit is for people who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they have to care for dependants such as children under 12 or elderly members due to daycares and schools closed for COVID-19. It provides $500 per week for 26 weeks paid in 1-week periods.
This benefit is for people who have contracted COVID-19, are in medical need, and/or are self-isolating for reasons related to COVID-19, are unable to work for at least 50% of the week. It provides $500 per week for a maximum of 2 weeks paid in 1-week periods.
These benefits are an extension of employment insurance (EI), just as CERB was designed to be. Depending on your category, the New Recovery Benefits are to replace CERB. However, you still have the option to apply for employment insurance if you don’t qualify for these benefits.
To get access to New Recovery Benefit:
- If you have applied and received CERB through Service Canada:
You don’t need to reapply for EI benefits unless your SIN starts with 9, you are self-employed, and/or you declared you will return to work full time on your report
- If you applied and received CERB through Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):
You will need to reapply only after your eligibility and the last payment for CERB is over.
Moves will continue to provide updates for financial aid in Canada so that we can best serve our community of gig workers. Stay tuned!
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