CERB program will be extended by another 30 days, as feds announce changes to EI
As the country continues to gradually reopen, the federal government is announcing changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program, along with new income support benefits.
To support people during this transition, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program will be extended by four weeks, with the possibility of more extensions in the future.
That means that people who were expecting CERB payments to run out at the end of this month will have another four weeks of support.
It’s meant to be a temporary solution as the government transitions people from the CERB to EI.
According to the federal government, EI will now be available to around 400,000 people who would not have qualified in the past.
People receiving EI are eligible for a taxable benefit of at least $400 per week, or $240 per week for extended parental benefits.
The government is also moving to freeze the EI insurance premium rates for two years, so workers and businesses won’t face immediate increases to costs and payroll deductions.
On top of these changes, Ottawa is proposing three new benefits including: the Canada Recovery Benefit for people who are self-employed or otherwise not eligible for EI, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit for workers who are sick or need to self-isolate, and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit for people who are unable to work because they need to care for a child under 12 or a family member with a disability.
“Canadians have shown tremendous strength in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we begin to safely reopen our economies and businesses, our government is committed to supporting Canadians,” said Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance. “We are helping businesses and workers get back on their feet, while making sure Canadians have the income supports they need. Together, we will get through this, and build a stronger Canada.”