Politics

Canadians receiving the CERB must re-apply to continue receiving benefits

Canadians who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the first four weeks it was available will need to reapply if they want to continue receiving payments.

Canadians can claim for up to 16 weeks of benefits between mid-March and Sept. 26

Those who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the first four weeks it was available will need to reapply to CRA to continue receiving payments. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Canadians who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for the first four weeks it was available will need to reapply if they want to continue receiving payments.

The federal government's CERB offers individual Canadians $2,000 over a four week period, up to a maximum of 16 weeks or four pay periods.

The benefit's first four-week period ran from March 15 until April 11, and the second four-week period started April 12. 

Canadians reapplying for the benefit, or applying for the first time, can do so online through their Canada Revenue Agency accounts or over the phone through the CRA's automated service.

The federal government has set up a detailed webpage explaining the different ways Canadians can register for the benefit. 

People applying for the benefit who were born in January, February or March should apply on Mondays. Those born in April, May or June should apply on Tuesdays. People born in July, August or September should apply on Wednesdays and eligible Canadians born in October, November or December should apply on Thursdays. 

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, those born at any time throughout the year can apply for the benefit.

This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced more flexible rules for the CERB in response to critics who said the initial rules excluded too many people, including those working reduced hours.

Seasonal workers, those who recently have run out of employment insurance and those who make less than $1,000 a month due to reduced work hours also now qualify.

The NDP, which had called for a universal $2,000 benefit, pushed for the expanded eligibility.

"We're happy that people can now earn some money and still apply for the Canadian emergency response benefit," NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement.

With files from the CBC's Kathleen Harris

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