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)

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

Colwood Fire Rescue is reminding the public to only burn dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces after heavy smoke filled the intersection of Sooke Road and Acacia Drive when a homeowner tried burning a plastic item on Sunday, Jan. 24. (Emily Jessop photo)
Colwood homeowner burns plastic in fireplace, causes emergency response

Colwood Fire Rescue says burn dry, seasoned wood in fireplaces only

A rolled-over car was spotted in a ditch along Sooke Road near the border of Langford on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 24. (Black Press Media photo)
Car ends up in ditch along Sooke Road Sunday morning

Single vehicle spotted rolled-over just after 10 a.m. on Jan. 24

Steve Smith’s image of two sibling adolescent grizzly bears playfighting in the Chilko River in the B.C. Interior earned him best of show at the prestigious Lion’s Gate Celebration of Nature club competition for 2020-21. (Photo by Steve Smith)
Victoria Camera Club captures top spot in prestigious nature and wildlife competition

Saanich Peninsula photographers part of award-winning team

Downtown Victoria and the Inner Harbour are part of a corridor that also includes much of urban Saanich that is part of the Greater Victoria 2030 District, a sustainable buildings climate initiative announced recently. (Black Press Media file photo)
Ramping up energy efficiency in Greater Victoria buildings goal of new group

Greater Victoria 2030 District part of North American network of cities working to reduce emissions

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

Most Read