EI & CERB Facts and Info

There are a lot of confusing messages out there regarding EI and CERB benefits. It is nearly impossible to get in touch with a live person at EI to assist you. So here are some FACTS and information (along with links) to help you in your search.

FACT: neither of these programs will just send you money. You must apply to them. Please do not fall victim to a scam!

EI benefits will pay you up to 55% of your net insurable earnings to a maximum of $573 per week, regardless of how much more you might earn (depends on the number of insurable hours you have accumulated and length of time since last claim, if less than 52 weeks). “Net” earnings are the amount after deductions or what you “bring home”. The number of hours you need to qualify is based on the region in which you live, and varies between 420 and 700 hours.

CERB benefits will provide those who do not qualify for EI with up to 16 weeks of coverage (4 months). This benefit is not yet in effect, but will cover from March 15 to October 3, 2020. The portal will open sometime in April.

If you have applied for EI but have not been processed, you do not need to reapply to this benefit. If you are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits you can apply for CERB when your EI runs out.

If you are currently on an EI claim (maternity leave, or laid off) that started before the pandemic was declared, you will continue on that claim. If the claim ends before October 3, 2020 and you can’t return to work due to COVID-19 you can apply for the CERB benefit.

Have an HR-related COVID-19 Dilemma? Contact us for help!