OTTAWA – Many Canadians relying on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to keep them financially afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic say they are still waiting for their September payment.
With rent due and cash needed for groceries, a lot of people have taken to Twitter, asking where their CERB payment is, so much so that the emergency benefit is trending.
— Kip Santiago (@KipSantiago2) September 3, 2020
Recipients say they have generally received the $2,000 payment within two days of submitting their claim.
“Because there was an extension, there might be a couple little hiccups,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when asked about the issue in an interview with Newfoundland radio station VOCM.
The Canada Revenue Agency says in a statement those qualified will receive their payments, noting the official time frame is three-to-five business days for direct deposit, and 10 business days by cheque.
#cerb just talked to a cra worker and was told it could take 8 business days for a direct deposit… lol this would happen on the very last payment. all i can do is wait
— bluntz (@smokeONbluntz) September 3, 2020
However, the CRA did not directly answer if there is a problem or a delay with the CERB payment system.
The September payment would be the last CERB payment before Canadians who are out of work amid the COVID-19 pandemic are switched to a modified Employment Insurance program, or a new recovery benefit.
So everyone’s CERB is late, with no word from the government?
— Sophia Banks (@sophiaphotos) September 3, 2020
Ottawa announced the CERB extension and introduced the benefit’s replacement on Aug. 20.
When the CERB runs out on Sept. 27, three million Canadians will transition into the “simplified” EI program, coming into effect the same day. A new benefit that pays $400 a week for up to 26 weeks will replace the CERB for about one million people who don’t qualify for employment insurance.
There will also be a $500-a-week sickness benefit and a caregiving benefit for anyone who has to stay home because they’re ill, or because their school or daycare is closed.
However, the BC Federation of Labour has raised concerns about the benefit, saying it isn’t enough to discourage Canadians from going to work when they’re not feeling well.
-With files from Hana Mae Nassar