Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces a new benefit for Canadians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, on the steps of Rideau Cottage on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (CPAC)

Trudeau unveils new $2,000 per month benefit to streamline COVID-19 aid

Aid will replace previously-announced benefits

The prime minister has unveiled a new benefit to streamline aid for Canadians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

Dubbed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the aid will replace earlier initiatives announced last week as part of a $82-billion funding package.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled the new benefit Wednesday (March 25) during his now-daily press conference on the steps of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.

The aid will provide $2,000 per month, for four months, and applications should be available on April 6. The money will be paid out every four weeks and be available from March 15 until Oct. 3.

Around one million people have applied for EI in the past week due to the crisis. Trudeau said 143,000 of those applications have been processed and thousands of government employees have been redeployed to handle the influx.

Laid-off workers who have applied for EI due to coronavirus-related job losses will not need to reapply for this $2,000 benefit, which will be available for up to four months.

ALSO READ: Taking time off work due to COVID-19 now falls under medical leave

“Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB,” the government stated in a news release.

People who qualify for the money include workers who are sick, quarantined or have been laid off due to COVID-19; parents with sick family members, children or kids who must stay home because schools and daycares are closed; and who are contract workers or self-employed and losing work or closing up shop due to the virus. Trudeau said workers who still have jobs, but have seen their pay cut, will also qualify.

Canadians already on EI, whether regular or sickness benefits, will continue to receive that; if their benefits run out before Oct. 3 they can apply for the new benefit, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19.

The prime minister promised that direct support will come for small businesses, on top of the extra credit he said has been made available.

Trudeau also reiterated his call for Canadians to stay inside and to practice social distancing if they must leave the house.

To those not listening to the new rules, he said: “You’re making a dangerous choice.”

READ MORE: Trudeau promises $82B in economic supports in COVID-19 fight


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ballenas students help keep essential community services going

Club donates $1,000 to SOS Grateful Hearts campaign

Rebound recovery program helps more than 50 PQB businesses remain open

Nearly $90K in aid received through Oceanside Initiatives plan

Parksville-area family receives anonymous letters complaining children are being too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in the backyard is ‘unbearable’

PQBeat Podcast: Beloved Parksville volunteer Joan LeMoine

Discussion includes childhood memories, receiving the key to the city and more

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Cooler days help crews fighting fire on mountainside southwest of Nanaimo

Firefighters making progress, but it’s ‘slow-going,’ says B.C. Wildfire Service

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Most Read