CERB/EI Update- September 27, 2020

-Employment and Social Development Canada

CERB/EI Update- September 27, 2020

EI will now be available to more Canadians, including those who would not have qualified for EI in the past, supporting an additional 400,000 people through the program. Canadians receiving EI are eligible for a taxable benefit at a rate of at least $500 per week, or $300 per week for extended parental benefits. Canadians claiming EI benefits for job loss would be eligible for at least 26 weeks. Returning to the EI program will allow claimants to benefit from the Working While on Claim rules. These rules allow claimants to keep receiving part of their EI benefits and all their earnings from work. In addition, employers will once again be able to make use of registered Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) plans to provide support to employees.

The EI program will also allow Canadians with 120 hours of insurable work or more to qualify by providing a temporary, one-time credit of 300 insurable hours for those claiming EI regular and work-sharing benefits. Canadians claiming EI special benefits – including maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver – will be provided with a temporary, one-time credit of 480 insurable hours.

In light of the continuing pandemic, the waiting period will be waived for EI sickness benefit claimants to encourage compliance with public health measures. The requirement to provide a medical certificate will also be waived for all sickness claimants. Service Canada will retain the ability to request evidence of sickness for integrity purposes.

To ensure a smooth transition to EI, the majority of Canadians still receiving the CERB through Service Canada who are eligible for EI will be automatically transitioned. Service Canada will contact all EI clients to confirm whether they need to apply or are being transitioned automatically. Clients can also verify the status of their claim in their My Service Canada Account.

As is normally the case, Canadians become eligible for their first EI payment at the end of the two weeks that they are out of work. This means, for example, that those switching to EI from CERB effective September 27, 2020, will be eligible for their first EI payment as of October 11. Over 80% of eligible Canadians are expected to receive their payment by October 14 – 3 days after becoming eligible, and over 90% are expected to be paid within 3 to 14 days.

On September 24, 2020, the Government announced the introduction of Bill C-2, to create three new temporary Recovery Benefits. Specifically, the legislation includes:

  • A Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks, to workers who are self-employed or are not eligible for EI and who still require income support. This Benefit would support Canadians who have not returned to work due to COVID-19 or whose income has dropped by at least 50%. These workers must be available and looking for work, and must accept work where it is reasonable to do so;
  • A Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) of $500 per week for up to two weeks, for workers who are sick or must self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19. This Benefit supports our commitment to ensure all Canadian workers have access to paid sick leave; and,
  • A Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household, for eligible Canadians unable to work because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19 or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine.

Canadians will be able to apply for the CRB, CRSB, and CRCB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for one year up until September 25, 2021.


-Employment and Social Development Canada