Sole Proprietors: If you need financial help

You may be eligible for Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (the "CERB")

What is the CERB

The CERB is a monthly income support payment for workers impacted by COVID-19, including workers who are not eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. 

What is the law that sets the rules for the CERB? 

On March 25, 2020, the Federal Government passed Bill C-13, An Act respecting certain measures in response to COVID-19. This Bill enacts the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act.

How much is the CERB? 

The amount of the benefit is $2,000 per month

How long can the CERB be available to me? 


The CERB can be available to qualified individuals for up to 16 weeks 


Am I eligible for the CERB? 


In general terms, you should be eligible for the CERB if: 

  • you are individual over the age of 15; 

  • you are a resident of Canada;

  • you have earned at least $5,000 from employment, self-employment or in EI benefits either (a) during 2019 or (b) in the 12-month period prior to the date of your application; 

  • you ceased work for reasons related to COVID-19 for at least 14 consecutive days during the period between March 15, 2020 and October 3, 2020; and

  • you received no other income and no EI benefits during the period (subject to limited exceptions).

What are examples of situations where workers would cease work for reasons related to COVID-19? 

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.

  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.

  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.

  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.

  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

What documents do I have to provide to prove that I ceased to work for reasons related to COVID-19 and earned no other income? 

We do not yet know the application requirements, but we will know them in early April. 

If you receive benefit support payments but the Minister later determines that you were not entitled to them, you will have to repay the payments to the Minister. 

How do I apply? 

Online applications will become available in early April through CRA My Account portal. 

If you cannot apply online, a dedicated phone line for applications by phone will be available in early April. 

As Service Canada locations are currently closed, you will not be able to apply in person. 

When can I apply for the CERB?

You may apply as soon as the applications become available through CRA My Account or by phone in early April, 2020. You must apply for the CERB before December 2, 2020. 

After I submit my application, how long would I have to wait for the first payment? 

Approximately 10 days

How frequently will I get paid? 

Every 4 weeks

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