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

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

UPDATED: Some states of local emergency suspended by ministerial order

Suspension applies to regional districts but not First Nations

A letter from Bella Coola doctors on COVID-19: ‘All our lives depend on your actions now’

“None of us are invincible; we can all get it and spread it without even knowing.”

COVID-19: Bella Coola RCMP close detachment front door access

The public is being asked to call 250 799 5363 for assistance

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read