Information Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Government Support for Employees

During the current Covid-19 Pandemic, a number of Canadian Governments have announced programs designed to support employers, with the specific goal of mitigating some of the economic consequences of Canada’s response to small business.

As a result of social distancing and other policies, economic activity in Canada has dramatically slowed.  This has resulted in financial stress for those businesses that continue to operate, often resulting in the need lay off some or all of their employees

The government initiatives continue to evolve in real time, and this fact sheet will be updated on a regular basis to keep up with the changes.

While this Fact Sheet focusses on the Federal initiatives, the reader is encouraged to check with their provincial and municipal governments for additional support which may be available

Federal Government

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

What is it? This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note: This benefit replaces the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit.

Who can apply? CERB will cover Canadians who have lost their jobs, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures.

It will apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), and who have not worked for 14 days

How to apply: The federal government announced that an application portal will be available by the week of April 6th. Applicants will also be able to apply, via an automated telephone line, or via a toll-free number.

This information will be updated.

For more information:

Employment Insurance – Sickness Benefit

What is it? Employment Insurance sickness benefits can provide you with up to 15 weeks of financial assistance if you cannot work for medical reasons. You could receive 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $573 a week.

Who can apply? Those who are sick, quarantined or have been directed to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

How to apply: Complete an online application as soon as possible after you stop working. As part of the COVID-19 response, the government of Canada will waive the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits, as well as the one week waiting period.

For more information:

Employment Insurance – General Benefits

What is it? Employment Insurance (EI) provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through a shortage of work or lay-offs and are available for and able to work, but can’t find a job.

Who can apply? Employees who were employed in insurable employment, lost their job through no fault of their own, and have been without work for at least seven days, and have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks.

How to apply: Review the requirements and collect the necessary information at the following link, and click on the “Apply” link to begin your application.

For more information:

Key Links:

Finance Canada

Canada Revenue Agency (Income Tax Issues)

Employment and Social Development Canada (Employment Insurance Issues) –

Canadian Payroll Association – Frequently Asked Questions


This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association

Date: April 15, 2020

Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the CPA’s Fact Sheets:

Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
Tel:  613-237-2144
Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657