CERB Portal Login Now Available

how to apply for CERB portal

On the morning of April 6, 2020, the Government of Canada officially launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program. CERB payments may now begin.

The CERB provides financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians whose work is disrupted by COVID-19.

The CERB pays $2,000 each 4-week period for up to 16 weeks.

Update June 16, 2020: The CERB was extended from sixteen weeks to twenty-four weeks.

Canadians will need to make an application for the CERB online or on the phone showing they are eligible, and then make subsequent applications every month thereafter showing they are still eligible.

Canadians can read all about the CERB here.

CERB Eligibility

To be eligible for the CERB, an individual must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. You reside in Canada
  2. You are 15 years old or more when you apply
  3. For your first CERB application:
    • You have stopped or will stop working because of COVID-19
    • For at least 14 days in a row for the period you are applying for, you did not or will not receive any:
      • employment income
      • self-employment income
      • EI maternity or parental benefits
  4. For subsequent CERB payment applications:
    • You continue to not work due to reasons related to COVID-19
    • For the 4 week period you are applying for, you will not receive any:
      • employment income;
      • EI maternity or parental benefits.
  5. You did not quit your job voluntarily
  6. You did not apply for, nor receive, the CERB or EI benefits from Service Canada for the same eligibility 4 week period already.
  7. You earned a minimum of $5,000 income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:
    • employment income
    • self-employment income
    • EI maternity or parental benefits

CERB Portal

On April 6, 2020 the Canadian government opened up the CERB application portal.

How to apply for the CERB

The easiest way to apply for the first CERB payment is to apply online with a CRA My Account. Canadians should use their CRA My Account to make subsequent CERB applications too.

Follow these steps online on your My CRA Account to apply for the CERB:

  1. Go to the CRA My Account website.
  2. Scroll down, and click “sign in with your online banking partner” or “CRA login”.
  3. Verify it it is the right day of the week to apply.
  4. Sign in with your banking partner or CRA login.
  5. Go to the “COVID-19: Canada Emergency Response Benefit alert banner” at the top of the page; and click “Apply”.
  6. Select the period you want to apply for;
  7. Declare that you qualify for the benefit (see above eligibility requirements above); and
  8. Confirm the CRA has the right payment information.
  9. Click “Apply” under the heading, “COVID-19: Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)”.
  10. Confirm your eligibility.
  11. Find the box that says, “Select a Period” and select the 4 weeks of CERB you are eligible for.
  12. On the next page, click the box certifying you are eligible or the CERB, and then click “NEXT”.
    1. Remember, for the first four week period of the CERB you are applying for, you only need to have not worked 14 consecutive days, not every day of the first four week period.

It is a very simple, automatic process. Reports indicate that individuals are approved automatically as soon as they apply for the CERB (unlike for EI, where the application is reviewed for some time and an ROE must be submitted). However, beware, we expect that once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the CRA will review all CERB payments. Erroneous CERB payments made to ineligible claimants will have to be paid back as per the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act.

What day of the week to apply for the CERB?

Reports indicate Canadians can apply any day for the CERB, but the Canadian government has suggested guidelines to help manage the massive influx of CERB applications. To that effect, the Canadian government set up suggested days for Canadians to apply for the CERB as follows:

If you were born in the month ofApply for CERB onYour best day to apply
January, February or MarchMondaysApril 6
April, May, or JuneTuesdaysApril 7
July, August, or SeptemberWednesdaysApril 8
October, November, or DecemberThursdaysApril 9
Any monthFridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Can’t log in to your CRA My Account?

On the CRA my Account webpage, you can recover your user name and password by going to the link for “My Account”, and selecting ‘Forgot your user ID’ or ‘Forgot your password’.

If you are locked out of your CRA My Account, call the telephone service CERB application portal to apply for the CERB instead (1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041) as that is faster than getting unlocked at this time.

Don’t have a CRA My Account but have a My Service Canada Account?

Merge your My Service Canada Account with a CRA My Account. To do this, after you sign in to your My Service Canada Account, find the link to “Switch to Canada Revenue Agency” and then hit “I agree”.

No CRA account or a My Service Canada Account?

If you do not have a CRA My Account or a My Service Canada Account, but have filed taxes in 2019 or earlier, call 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041 to apply for the CERB. Try both numbers if you cant get through on one of them.

The telephone CERB application process is very simple and should take less than five minutes. It is an automated message service. It asks you for your language preference, your SIN number, your birth year, whether you will agree to share your tax information, to confirm which 4-week CERB period you are applying for, and finally whether you confirm your eligibility for the CERB.

All other people who have never filed taxes should still call 1-800-959-8281 to apply for the CERB. We do not yet know how these people will be dealt down the road in regard to how they will show they had income of at least $5,000 in the last year or 2019, but we will update this article when we do.

How long until CERB payments arrive?

Canadians who apply for the CERB should get their payment in 3 business days if they signed up for direct deposit. If they haven’t signed up for direct deposit, Canadians should get the CERB cheque by letter mail in about 10 business days.

Recommendation: Canadians should sign up for direct deposit to get the CERB faster, and they should thus get their direct deposit information ready before they apply for the CERB if their direct deposit information is not already attached to their CRA My Account. Find a blank cheque, check your online banking information online or call your bank for direct deposit information.

Dutton Employment Law is an employment law group in Toronto advising employees and employers on all employment law matters and in all industries. Contact us for a free phone consultation.

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