Educational Videos

CERB – Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit Account, or CERB, is a COVID-19 relief measure released by the Canadian government. CERB lets Canadian residents that were forced to stop working due to COVID-19, to collect a $500 per week benefit ($2,000 per month).


In this video, Vlad Sherbatov, President and Co-Founder of Smarter Loans explains how CERB works, who is eligible to receive it and how to apply for CERB.


This video was recorded on April 10, 2020, based on information available at that time. We encourage you to visit for latest updates and other COVID-19 resources available to Canadian residents and business owners.


CERB can be applied for online or by phone. Use the following link or phone numbers to apply:

  1. Online:
  2. By Phone: 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041




Vlad Sherbatov:

If you have stopped working due to COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. In this video, I will explain how the CERB works, who is eligible to receive it and how to apply for it.


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The CERB provides $500 per week for up to 16 weeks and is available to full time, part time employees and self-employed individuals. As of the date of this recording, the benefit is available for the period of March 15, 2020 to October 3rd, 2020.


The primary eligibility requirement for the $500 weekly benefit is stoppage of work due to COVID-19. Here are some of the most common reasons why people have stopped working due to COVID – 19.

  1. You’ve been let go from your job or your hours have been reduced to zero.
  2. You are sick or in quarantine.
  3. You are away from work to take care of others because they are sick or in quarantine
  4. You are away from work to take care of children or other dependents because their care facilities are currently closed.


This is not a complete list and other scenarios may be eligible for CERB as well. The benefit is available to workers that are residing in Canada and are at least 15 years old. They have stopped working because of COVID-19 and they did not quit their job voluntarily, they had at least $5,000 of income in 2019 or within 12 months prior to the date of the application. Applicants should expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days after the application.


The government of Canada has opened up a central online portal to accept all CERB applications. To apply, you can use the online portal or you can also apply by phone. You will find the link to the application as well as the phone number in the description underneath this video.


If you are already receiving Employment Insurance regular benefit, you will continue to receive those benefits until the end of your benefit period. You cannot be paid both EI and CERB at the same time.


Benefits will start within 10 days after you submit your application. There is no waiting period. Payments will be made through direct deposit or by cheque. You will be paid more quickly if you select direct deposit.


If you applied a little bit late, don’t worry. Your payments will be retroactive to the date when you first became eligible for CERB.


During the application you will need to provide your personal contact information, SIN and confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements. It is possible that at a later point you will be asked to submit additional proof of eligibility.


To better manage speed and processing times, people are asked to follow a schedule of when to apply for CERB, based on their month of birth.

  1. People born in January, February or March should apply on Mondays.
  2. Those born in April. May or June should apply on Tuesdays.
  3. People born in July, August or September apply on Wednesdays.
  4. Those born in October, November or December should apply on Thursdays.
  5. Anyone can apply on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.


Check the video description for more details and make sure to check the website for latest updates on all government subsidies related to COVID-19.


I hope you found this video helpful in how CERB works. Thank you very much for watching!

Vlad Sherbatov

Vlad is the President and Co-Founder of Smarter Loans, Canada's original and largest loan comparison website. He is a passionate entrepreneur and business leader in the Canadian financial sector. He was selected as a 2019 Top 25 Leaders in Lending by the Canadian Lenders Association. Vlad is an author at Smarter Loans, and has been featured in publications like the Toronto Star and National Post, among others.