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The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is ending. Will I be able to get Employment Insurance (EI)?

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The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is ending. Will I be able to get Employment Insurance (EI)?

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The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is ending. Will I be able to get Employment Insurance (EI)?
Reviewed: 
August 26, 2020
Answer

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is ending in the next few months. You will still be able to apply for CERB money until December 2, 2020. But any money you get will be for the time you were eligible before October 3.

The government says that they will be switching people from the CERB to Employment Insurance (EI) starting on September 27, 2020. And they've changed some EI rules so that more people will be eligible.

The way to apply for EI under these new rules will be the same as applying for EI under the current rules. There are 2 types of EI benefits – regular benefits and special benefits.

Change to the number of hours you need to work

Under the normal rules, to qualify for EI regular benefits, you need to have worked a certain number of hours in a year.

This amount changes depending on the unemployment rate in your area. It can be between 420 and 700 hours.

The government has reduced the number of hours people have work to be eligible for EI to 420 hours. This applies wherever you live in the country.

Bonus hours for EI special benefits

If you're applying for EI special benefits, such as parental or sickness benefits, you normally need to have worked 600 hours in the last 52 weeks.

The government has changed this so that everyone applying for EI special benefits gets an extra 480 hours. This means that you only need to have worked 120 hours in the past 52 weeks to qualify. These bonus hours are available now.  

Bonus hours for EI regular benefits

The government has announced that it will also give anyone applying for EI regular benefits an extra 300 hours. This would mean that you need to have worked only 120 hours in the past 52 weeks to qualify for EI regular benefits.

These bonus hours are expected to available starting September 27. But this could change.

Amount of EI regular benefits

Normally, EI gives people only 55% of their normal weekly earnings, up to a maximum of $573 a week. The government has announced that it will change this so that people can now get at least $400 a week for 26 weeks.

This extra money is expected to be available starting September 27. But this could change. 

If you don't qualify for EI

If you don't qualify for EI because you are an independent contractor or self-employed, the government has said it will introduce new programs to replace the CERB. These programs are expected to provide $400 per week. We will provide more information on these programs when we know more.

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