NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.
When you have questions, NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.
If I was on Employment Insurance (EI) before the pandemic, will I lose it now that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is being reduced?
If you were entitled to Employment Insurance benefits before the pandemic, you shouldn’t be losing them now.
That clarification came from the federal government as NEWS 1130 looks into confusion about how the CERB applies to people on medical leave pre-pandemic.
One listener, Fred, reached out to NEWS 1130 after hearing about Canadian Emergency Response Benefit clawbacks, and learning his payments might be getting reduced.
“I had surgery on my ankle in January, so this was before COVID, and I was getting paid initially through my long-term benefits at work, but that ran out after 15 weeks and I was supposed to go on EI,” he explains.
After submitting his bi-weekly report, he found out Friday that he won’t be paid for the period from June 14 – 28.
Federal Ministry of Finance staff have confirmed anyone eligible for benefits before March 15th is not losing them, but Fred and others like him, have to re-apply for support under EI.
The key concern is ensuring people are not accessing both programs at the same time.
The government website says anyone whose EI claim was transferred to CERB will receive a maximum of $500 per week.
“You will receive $500 per week, regardless of what you may have been eligible to receive through Employment Insurance.”
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-With files from Lisa Steacy