COVID-19 Resources and Support

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) eligibility requirements:
    • Those who reside in Canada;
    • Those who earned at least $5000 in 2019 or the during the past 12 months from employment income, self-employment income, or parental leave benefit payments;
    • Those who have lost employment or have had working hours reduced due to the COVID-19 crisis (eg. you or a dependant sick or in quarantine; reduced or unoffered contracts as a result of Concordia health measures);
    • Those who currently earn, or anticipate earning, $1000 or less in monthly income (initially, must have earned $1000 or less in the 14 days before first applying).
  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) eligibility requirements:
    • Those who hold Canadian citizenship or permanent residency;
    • Those who are currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution, completed post-secondary education December 2019 or later, or have applied for post-secondary education starting before February 1, 2010;
    • Those who currently earn, or anticipate earning, $1000 or less in monthly income;
    • Those who do not otherwise qualify for CERB or EI, nor are currently receiving these benefits.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility requirements
    • Those who are currently without work through no fault of their own;
    • Those who were previously working in insurable employment (and have worked the minimum required insurable hours in the last year or since previous EI claim);
    • Those who have been without work for at least seven consecutive days in the last year;
    • Those who are actively looking for work.

General FAQ

  • I am an international student – what options are available to me?
    • CESB: Unfortunately, most international students are currently excluded from CESB eligibility, unless you are a protected person as recognised by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
      The federal government, however, has announced that if essential services are being provided, the 20-hour-a-week work cap for international students will be lifted;
    • CERB: If you fulfill the eligibility requirements (eg. having earned at least $5000 in income the previous 12 months or in 2019; earning or expecting to earn $1000 or less a month) and lost/expect to lose contracts, exam shifts, or working hours due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for CERB;
    • EI: If you are currently without employment, were not fired, worked at least 420 hours of paid employment in the last year or since your last EI application, and fulfill the other requirements, you may be eligible for EI.
  • I’m an Invigilator – what options are available for me?
    • CERB: If you fulfill the eligibility requirements (eg. having earned at least $5000 in income the previous 12 months or in 2019; earning or expecting to earn $1000 or less a month) and lost/expect to lose exam shifts due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for CERB;
    • EI: If you are currently without employment, were not fired, worked at least 420 hours of paid employment in the last year or since your last EI application, and fulfill the other requirements, you may be eligible for EI;
    • CESB: If you are a current or graduating student who has worked as an Invigilator, and are either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to apply for CESB if you are not eligible for either CERB or EI.
  • I have applied for CERB or CESB but my financial situation has changed, or I have already applied for CERB or CESB and have since discovered I am not eligible. Can I return my payment(s)?
    • Yes. You can review the various ways to send back your CERB benefit(s) to the federal government at this link, and the various ways to send back your CESB benefit(s) at this link.
  • What financial resources will be available after the six maximum months of CERB or four maximum months of CESB funding?
    • Unfortunately, though COVID-19 measures began months ago and though the current employment crisis is likely to continue for an indefinite period, there are no other public emergency benefits available at this time. If you are eligible otherwise, you may be able to apply for EI (CERB or CESB payments will not penalise you). If and when the federal or provincial governments respond with the extension of maximum benefit periods, or announce new emergency benefits, we will let our membership know.
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) eligibility requirements:
    • Those who reside in Canada;
    • Those who earned at least $5000 in 2019 or the during the past 12 months from employment income, self-employment income, or parental leave benefit payments;
    • Those who have lost employment or have had working hours reduced due to the COVID-19 crisis (eg. you or a dependant sick or in quarantine; reduced or unoffered contracts as a result of Concordia health measures);
    • Those who currently earn, or anticipate earning, $1000 or less in monthly income (initially, must have earned $1000 or less in the 14 days before first applying).
  • How much money can I receive from CERB?
    • CERB recipients will be sent a $2000 lump sum for each four-week payment period to which they have applied, the equivalent of $500 per week. You will only be able to apply for CERB for a maximum of 6 four-week periods, for a maximum total of $8000 over twenty-four weeks.
  • How can I apply for CERB?
    • You can apply online through the Canada Revenue Agency or through Service Canada (but not both; use the same means of application for each CERB monthly payment);
    • To apply by phone, call the automated CERB hotline: 1-800-959-2019. For this application method you will require your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and your postal code;
    • To apply over the internet through either Service Canada or the CRA, follow the prompts on the webpage linked here under the “Determine where to apply” header.
  • When are the application periods for CERB?
    • Your CERB benefit payments will not automatically be renewed; you will have to re-apply for each four-week period as needed. The current and coming eligibility periods are:
    • June 7 to July 4 (earliest day to apply: Monday June 8);
    • July 5 to August 1 (earliest day to apply: Monday July 6);
    • August 2 to August 29 (earliest day to apply: Monday August 3);
    • August 30 to September 26 (earliest day to apply: Monday August 31).
  • How will CERB benefits be sent?
    • Within 10 days of applying for CERB benefits over a four-week period, you will receive your payment either through cheque mailed to your home address or through direct deposit.
  • If I am currently receiving EI benefits, or have recently applied for EI, can I apply for CERB?
    • No.
  • Is a Record of Employment (ROE) necessary to apply for CERB?
    • No.
  • Is medical documentation required as proof if I am applying for CERB by reason of illness or quarantine?
    • No.
  • Are bursaries/fellowships/grant/scholarships considered income for the purposes of CERB?
    • No. Only employment and self-employment income will be counted towards both monthly minimum and previous maximum income eligibility requirements (this includes income-declared tips, honoraria, and royalties).
  • Is income from CERB taxable?
    • Yes, you will be expected to declare your CERB benefit(s) when preparing your 2020 tax return.
  • Can I retroactively apply for past CERB payment periods if eligibility criteria are still met?
    • Yes, as long as you do not exceed the payment period application maximum of 6. You will have to apply for each period separately if more than one is applicable, but you will receive these retroactive payments once applied for. The previous CERB payment periods were:
      • March 15 to April 11;
      • April 12 to May 9;
      • May 10 to June 6.
  • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) eligibility requirements:
    • Those who hold Canadian citizenship or permanent residency;
    • Those who are currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution, completed post-secondary education December 2019 or later, or have applied for post-secondary education starting before February 1, 2010;
    • Those who currently earn, or anticipate earning, $1000 or less in monthly income;
    • Those who do not otherwise qualify for CERB or EI, nor are currently receiving these benefits.
  • How can I apply for CESB?
    • You can apply for CESB with the Canada Revenue Agency, either online or by phone;
    • To apply over the phone, call the CESB automated hotline: 1-800-959-2041. You will require both your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and your postal code on hand;
    • To apply online, login to your existing or create a new CRA My Account.
  • If I have also applied for CERB or EI, or am planning to, can I still apply for CESB?
    • No. CESB was created for post-secondary students who do not qualify for either EI or CERB, so these benefits cannot be collected together.
  • How much money can I receive from CESB?
    • Each recipient will be sent a base lump sum of $1250 per four-week payment period applied for, with a maximum of 16 weeks (4 four-week payment periods);
    • In addition, you will be eligible for an extra $750 (for a total of $2000 per four-week period) if you have dependants, defined as at least one child under 12 years of age (including adoptive, foster, and step-children) or someone with a recognised disability whose care you are responsible for;
    • You are also eligible for this $750 monthly CESB top-up if you have a recognised disability, defined as a barrier or impairment (physical, mental, intellectual, learning, communication, or sensory) which hinders your ability to participate fully in society.
  • Are there any additional requirements to recieve CESB benefits?
    • Yes. To continue recieving CESB benefits, you must be able to demonstrate that you are/have been actively looking for employment.
    • It is recommended that you keep documents and correspondences to prove you have been looking for employment, should the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) follow up with you in the future. The CRA also recommends creating and using an account with the federal Job Bank for this purpose.
  • How long can I receive CESB for?
    • A maximum of about four months – 16 weeks – applied for in four-week payment periods.
  • When are the CESB eligibility and application periods?
    • Your CESB benefit payments will not automatically be renewed; you will have to re-apply for each four-week period as needed. The current and coming eligibility periods are:
      • June 7 to July 4;
      • July 5 to August;
      • August 2 to August 29.
  • Is income from CESB taxable?
    • Yes, you will be expected to declare your CESB benefit(s) when preparing your 2020 tax return.
  • Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility requirements
    • Those who are currently without work through no fault of their own;
    • Those who were previously working in insurable employment (and have worked the minimum required insurable hours in the last year or since previous EI claim);
    • Those who have been without work for at least seven consecutive days in the last year;
    • Those who are actively looking for work.
  • How much can I receive through EI?
    • The amount you can receive through EI depends on your previous average insurable weekly earnings, with the basic rate calculated at 55% of this average. The maximum amount you can receive from EI per week is $573.
  • How can I apply for EI?
    • You can apply for EI online through a My Service Canada Account;
      You can also apply for EI over the phone through the EI Telephone Information Service: 1-800-206-7281.
  • How long can I receive EI benefits for?
    • The period during which you can receive EI benefits varies depending on how many insurable hours you had worked previously and by regional unemployment rates, to a maximum period of 45 weeks. In Montreal, you may receive a maximum of 45 weeks receiving EI benefits.
  • How are insurable employment hours counted?
  • How do I get my Record of Employment (ROE) for my EI application?
  • What is required while I am receiving EI benefits?
    • While receiving EI, you will be required to submit bi-weekly reports to Service Canada online or through phone to prove your continuing eligibility for benefits.
  • If I find employment, can I still work while receiving EI benefits?
  • Are EI benefits taxable?
    • Yes, you will be expected to declare your EI benefit(s) when preparing your tax return the coming year.

    The Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia (TRAC) is a labour union local comprising the teaching assistants and research assistants at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebéc.

    ADDRESS

    PR-204 and PR-205
    2100 MacKay, Montreal, QC H3G 2J1

    PHONE

    514 848 2424 extension 2917

    EMAIL

    [email protected]