Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces a new benefit for Canadians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, on the steps of Rideau Cottage on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (CPAC)

Trudeau unveils new $2,000 per month benefit to streamline COVID-19 aid

Aid will replace previously-announced benefits

The prime minister has unveiled a new benefit to streamline aid for Canadians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

Dubbed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the aid will replace earlier initiatives announced last week as part of a $82-billion funding package.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled the new benefit Wednesday (March 25) during his now-daily press conference on the steps of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.

The aid will provide $2,000 per month, for four months, and applications should be available on April 6. The money will be paid out every four weeks and be available from March 15 until Oct. 3.

Around one million people have applied for EI in the past week due to the crisis. Trudeau said 143,000 of those applications have been processed and thousands of government employees have been redeployed to handle the influx.

Laid-off workers who have applied for EI due to coronavirus-related job losses will not need to reapply for this $2,000 benefit, which will be available for up to four months.

ALSO READ: Taking time off work due to COVID-19 now falls under medical leave

“Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB,” the government stated in a news release.

People who qualify for the money include workers who are sick, quarantined or have been laid off due to COVID-19; parents with sick family members, children or kids who must stay home because schools and daycares are closed; and who are contract workers or self-employed and losing work or closing up shop due to the virus. Trudeau said workers who still have jobs, but have seen their pay cut, will also qualify.

Canadians already on EI, whether regular or sickness benefits, will continue to receive that; if their benefits run out before Oct. 3 they can apply for the new benefit, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19.

The prime minister promised that direct support will come for small businesses, on top of the extra credit he said has been made available.

Trudeau also reiterated his call for Canadians to stay inside and to practice social distancing if they must leave the house.

To those not listening to the new rules, he said: “You’re making a dangerous choice.”

READ MORE: Trudeau promises $82B in economic supports in COVID-19 fight


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

CN suspending service between Williams Lake and Squamish, effective April 3

Rail traffic north of Williams Lake will be routed to Vancouver through Prince George and Kamloops

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read