On Sept. 27, almost all CERB claimants who qualify for EI and are still unable to work will be transitioned onto the EI program as their avenue for support once their 28 weeks of CERB run out. For most workers, this transition will be automatic however there will be a few cases in which applications will need to be filed, and those people are being contacted by the government.
The government has also introduced enhanced measures to help Canadians access EI. Workers must have 120 insurable hours to qualify. Those eligible will receive a minimum benefit rate of $400 per week for at least 26 weeks.
Lastly, three new benefits will come into effect September 27.
The Canada Recovery Benefit would be effective for one year and would provide a benefit amount of $400 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI, mainly the self-employed and including those working in the gig economy. These individuals may still require income support if they continue to be unable to return to work due to COVID-19 or had their income reduced relative to pre-COVID-19 pandemic (attestation-based).
The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit would provide $500 per week, for up to two weeks, effective September 27, 2020 for one year, for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. This new benefit would fulfil the Government of Canada’s commitment as part of the Safe Restart Agreement with provinces and territories to provide up to two weeks of sick leave to all Canadians in the context of COVID-19.
The Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit, would be effective for one year, and provide $500 per week, for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible Canadians who have been impacted by the closure of daycares, schools, day programs and other care facilities.
To learn more about the enhanced EI or the new benefits, see Supporting Canadians Through the Next Phase of the Economy Re-opening: Increased Access to EI and Recovery Benefits.