Canada Emergency Response Benefit | FFAW-Unifor | Fish Food & Allied Workers Union

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Answers to frequently asked questions on the CERB benefit.

What is this emergency benefit?

Benefit provides support for up to $900/ biweekly for up to 16 weeks for workers who lost their income because of the COVID19 pandemic. Those who qualify will be eligible for to up to $2000 a month for four months.

Who is covered?
  • People who lost their job
  • People who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19,
  • Parents who have to stay home without pay to take care of kids who are home because schools are closed
  • Contract workers & self-employed Canadians
How does it work?

Anyone can apply who has earned at least $5000 of revenue in the last 12 months, and who now has an income that has gone to zero since COVID 19. The benefit is back dated to March 16th for 16 weeks for anyone laid off or not earning income. The fastest way to receive the benefit is through direct deposit, which will get you your funds in three to five days.

When can I apply?

As soon as your income is zero, you can apply online at

You can apply via telephone by calling any of these toll-free numbers: 1-800-959-8281 or 1-800-959-2019 or 1-800-959-2041

I receive the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits; can I still apply?

Yes, you are still eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Your CPP and OAS do not count as income and will not impact this emergency benefit.

Is the CERB a taxable benefit?

The CERB is a taxable benefit, but the Government has announced that tax recovery will be deferred. Further details are unavailable at this time. Recipients will be required to file the CERB payments as income on their 2020 tax return

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up for Unifor Local’s monthly newsletter and stay up to date with information from around the union and industry.