Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) opened today, and though only those born in January, February or March have been allowed to apply so far, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this morning that 240,000 people had already successfully completed the process.
During his daily media briefing Monday morning, Trudeau said the first round of applications went through without issue.
The CERB has been put in place by the federal government to help residents who are out of work or have lost income due to COVID-19.
The benefit will provide $500 a week for up to 16 weeks to anyone who qualifies, which includes those who’ve stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits, those who’ve had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application, and those who expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period.
The federal government purposely spread out the days on which residents would be able to apply in order to prevent the website from crashing, and it appears to have worked.
Many Canadians took to social media this morning to applaud the CERB application process, saying it was far simpler and more efficient than they had expected.
The applications are being handled by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the federal government said the system is prepared to handle millions of claims in the coming days and weeks.
Those who signed up today using direct deposit can expect to see their money arrive in about three business days, and it’s safe to say many will be counting down the hours until they receive income for the first time in weeks.
During this morning’s press briefing, Trudeau also said updates will be soon be made to the benefit to include people such as students, gig-workers, contractors and more.
If your birthday falls between April and June, you can expect tomorrow’s CERB application process to be fairly smooth sailing.
Those born between July and September will have to wait until Wednesday to apply, while those born in October, November and December can apply beginning Thursday.