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More Canadians can now apply for Emergency Response Benefit, PM says

Last Updated Apr 15, 2020 at 1:47 pm PDT

Summary

Eligibility requirements for the CERB are being loosened so more people can apply for the financial help

People with seasonal jobs or people who have recently run out of EI will now be eligible for CERB

Workers who earn $1,000 or less a month will be able to access the CERB

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has been expanded to reach more people in need.

People who are earning some income of up to $1,000 a month will now be able to apply for the benefit, Trudeau said Wednesday.

“Maybe you’re a volunteer firefighter, or a contractor who can pick up some shifts, or you have a part-time job in the grocery store,” he said. “Even if you are still working, or if you want to start working again, you probably need help in making ends meet.”

People who may be in the seasonal job industry, who were waiting to work but may not be able to due to the pandemic, will also be eligible for the CERB, Trudeau announced.

“And if you’re run out of (Employment Insurance) since January 1st, you can now apply for the CERB as well,” he said, adding more help for post-secondary students, businesses, and others who are struggling would be announced soon.

As part of expanded relief measures, Trudeau said the federal government was working with provinces to top up the pay of essential workers who earn less than $2,500 a month.

That would include workers at long-term care facilities who fall under that income bracket.

Around half of the deaths related to COVID-19 in Canada so far have occurred because of outbreaks at these kinds of facilities

“We will be speaking to parliament about the contributions of the greatest generation, who grew up during the Depression, and fought through the second World War,” Trudeau said. “Today, across the country, the last members of this generation live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The uncomfortable and tragic truth is that the very places that care for our elderly are the most vulnerable to COVID-19.”

He added everyone needs to do more to protect the most vulnerable people, like those in long-term care facilities, and that he would push for more help for essential workers taking care of the elderly and those with disabilities on Thursday.